Planning for the Future as a Parent
Most children eventually fly the financial nest. That may not be the case for you, if your child has a disability. Once your child exits the school system, government-funded support services are not legal entitlements. The public school system has a legal obligation to provide services and supports for children with disabilities. Children with disabilities can remain in the public school system until age 21. Once they have “aged out of the system”, government-funded services are not guaranteed and difficult to secure.
Understandably, parents of children with disabilities want to make sure their child will be okay when they can no longer parent. Making sure their child is financially secure after they are gone is one of the biggest challenges parents face.
- Estate planning is a challenging process at the best of times. When you have a child with a disability who is not able to manage their own financial affairs, estate planning raises unique questions.
- How much money will you need to leave for your child?
- Who will manage the assets?
- How should the assets be structured?
- Will the assets affect our child’s government benefits, such as ODSP?
- How much do we leave for our other children?
- What role will our other children play after we are gone?
Effectively responding to these questions requires an understanding of the advantages and restrictions of various government programs as well as appropriate trusts that help safeguard these crucial benefits.