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Estate planning and the special needs child

As the Michigan family plans for the future, there are a number of decisions that must be made. In addition to the traditional estate planning decisions, the family with a special needs child must also make arrangements for this loved one's future care. Yet, research indicates that less than half of such families have completed this important task.

In the majority of families, one individual, usually the mother, is the primary caregiver for the special needs child. This is often a long-term arrangement as the child most likely requires care even as he or she reaches the age of maturity. In fact, it is common for the special needs child to remain at home in order to receive the necessary care.

This arrangement is typically in the best interest of the family and the child. However, with advances in health care and medical science, it is now likely that the special needs child will outlive his or her caregiver. When this happens, who will take care of him of her? Will another loved one step in or will the child be placed in a care facility? How will this care be funded?

Determining what is best for the special needs child and the family as a whole can be difficult. However, this is a difficult decision that is best ironed out prior to the day when it becomes a necessity. There are a series of steps that will need to be taken and decisions that will need to be made as part of the estate planning process to ensure that this special individual as well as the rest of the family is taken care of. Experienced legal counsel can assist the Michigan parents in determining what needs to be done and which decisions need to be made.

Source:, "Many parents of children with disabilities don't make care plans, study finds", Feb. 9, 2018

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