Virtually all local families have much to gain from taking the time to conduct proper New York estate planning. However, for some the need to ensure that future finances are in order and loved ones are secure indefinitely is a particularly strong necessity. Families who have children with special needs, like autism, must give careful thought to how their vulnerable children will have the resources that they need no matter what the future holds.
Yesterday the Sacramento Bee profiled one young family that is taking steps to ensure that their four children–including three with signs of autism–will be financially secure in the future. Considering many forms of autism make communication and basic social interaction a challenge for these children, their dependence on loved ones will often last a lifetime. There remain millions of families in this situation as an average of one child out of every 110 suffers from autism.
Paying for medical expenses alone is often a challenge for these families. While the average American usually spends about $317,000 in direct medical costs in a lifetime, individuals with autism often pay roughly twice that amount, nearly $630,000. Of course that does not even account for non-medical expenses, including basic needs like clothing, food, education, transportation, entertainment, and countless other costs. Thinking about these details is overwhelming for some, but it is important to remember that it is manageable. One of the first steps is to contact a New York estate planning lawyer to learn what options are available to you.
One possible choice that can be explained to you is the creation of a special needs trust. Depending on your family’s financial situation, this option may allow you to pass on more of your assets to your child without risking the loss of government benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, or state residential programs. However, even if the trust is created there are risks of government benefit reductions depending on how the trustees make payments.
The complexities of these and other issues make it imperative that all area families in this situation receive advice from a New York trust lawyer. All families with special needs children have tools available to them to ensure that their loved ones are protected in the future. It is important for those individuals to seek out those options and put them to work for their family.
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