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Maryland parents who have special needs children may have additional things to consider when they begin the estate planning process. Because special needs children often require specialized treatment and care, parents may find that they need to plan for these areas financially in the event of their untimely death. Some states have income limits to which special needs families are no longer eligible for financial assistance from the state. In these cases, it may benefit parents to consider a special needs trust.

One family has recently shared their story of estate planning and how they handled planning for the care of their daughter with special needs. One of the important things that they suggest is planning for the financial care and guardianship of their child. Using estate planning tools such as a special needs trust can help parents organize their wishes and ensure that there is money available for the child's care.

Additionally, planning who will be the guardian of a special needs child may require unique consideration. Parents should ensure that the person they choose to be guardian is well equipped and dedicated to the task. One tool that parents can use to help them in this process is a 'letter of intent.' Such a letter helps parents outline on paper what their wishes are, what the requirements are, and what the state of finances is.

It is never easy for Maryland parents to consider their children being left without them, though death is an unfortunate reality that can happen all too quickly. Parents with a special needs child likely understand the demands of their care, which is why they may benefit by seriously considering what would happen should they become incapacitated or deceased. Estate planning tools such as a special needs trust can help parents be sure that their child will be adequately taken care of. The process of planning for the future for a special needs child can be challenging, but parents can rest assured that they are not alone. Should they so choose, parents can seek options for assistance in ensuring that the future is bright and secure.

Source: Cleveland.com, "Estate planning critical for parents of special needs kids: Solon couple tell their story," Brittney Edelman, Sept. 1, 2012

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