People with special needs and their caretakers have many unique challenges. One that is often overlooked is the prospect of planning for a person’s financial future, including formulating an estate plan. This is important for those who have disabled loved ones with limited capacity, especially if the primary caregivers may pass away first as is often the case for parents of special needs children in Ontario.
Having no plan at all can be a big mistake, but it is not uncommon. These are complicated and often emotionally difficult issues to work through, so simplifying things can help. Focusing on a few key items, like life insurance and estate planning, can make a bit difference.
Families can begin by writing a letter of intent. This will clarify the family’s wishes for the care of their loved one, as well as the control of their finances. Information about medical care, daily routines and even the person’s preferences can all be included in the letter of intent. Information can be the best resource for someone looking to care for a person with special needs after his or her caregivers pass away.
There are many tools that may be available to support financial planning in these cases. These include Roth IRAs, ABLE accounts and special needs trusts. Financial and estate planning not only matters for the person with limited capacity, but also the caretakers as they age. Ontario residents can work with an estate planning lawyer to understand their options and the legal steps to take in order to prepare for the care and support of all involved.