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When considering how much money you will need to fund a special needs trust, you may wish to consider items that will offer your child a better quality of life. Government benefits are designed to provide basic food and shelter, but they will not offer your child any of the extras he is used to. When determining how much money you will need to provide for these extras, you should …

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A child with special needs deserves a parent’s continued stewardship and guidance, even if the parent becomes incapacitated or passes away, and the following estate planning documents are key to ensuring the child’s security. (1) A last will and testament. (2) A general durable power of attorney (“GDPA”). This document designates an agent to act on an individual’s (here, a parent’s) behalf with regard to financial affairs. Parents’ GDPA should …

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Special Needs Planning and Divorce

When a couple is divorcing, it is important that they do not forget their commitments to their child with special needs. Most importantly, any child support for the child with special needs should be allocated under the separation agreement to a Special Needs Trust. This will ensure that these assets will not affect the child’s ability to receive government assistance in the future. Parents planning to divorce should also consider …

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Special Needs Tax Credit for Legal Fees

In order to help families deal with financial burdens, Congress is considering a change to the current tax code that would provide up to a $5,000 tax credit for legal fees associated with establishing legal guardianship. This proposed tax credit would also be available for legal fees paid in connection with establishing a trust for a person with disabilities. Only the person who actually paid for the legal fees would be eligible to apply for the tax credit.

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Responsibilities of a Special Needs Trustee

Being the trustee of a Special Needs Trust is a job that comes with great responsibilities. Many family members consider naming a relative as trustee of their child’s Special Needs Trust. However, some families choose to go with a professional special needs trustee, as they have extensive experience in handling all issues associated with a Special Needs Trust. Before making this decision, families should consider the extensive responsibilities that go along with being a special needs trustee.

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Analyzing Alternatives to Special Needs Planning

All parents of children with disabilities worry about the day when they will no longer be able to care for them. While many parents have figured out ways to make life more comfortable for a child with disabilities while they are around, thinking about a time when they can no longer be personally responsible for their child’s well-being can be stressful.

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