Information for Parents Whose Adult Child Has Never Left Home…
How a Special Needs Trust Can Be Used to Protect Your Child or a Loved One With a Disability
Not every parent or every couple with children becomes an empty nester. There’s a group of parents whose children are or may never be self-supporting. It is not uncommon for a parent(s) in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, or even 80’s to be the primary caregiver for a child who has physical, psychological, and/or intellectual disabilities. Those parents live in fear of the day they will die or be placed in a long-term care facility with their child(ren) surviving them, facing a future without the loving protection of their parent(s). Protecting a child with significant disabilities regardless of the diagnosis requires careful planning.
The Fear of Having Your Disabled Child Outlive You
Because of the tremendous advances in medicine and pharmaceuticals, this is the first time in human history that parents face the possibility of having their disabled child(ren) outlive them. Parents who have lived long enough to become frail or elderly themselves may now also have their disabled adult child(ren) who are themselves seniors still at home being cared for by them. In fact, sometimes when we assist families in bringing in a professional caregiver for the aged parents, those same caregivers are providing necessary services to the disabled adult child, as well. This raises new challenges for families.
Protecting a Disabled Adult Child with a Special Needs Trust
What are the Types of Developmental Disabilities That Justify Creating a Special Needs Trust?
“Developmental disabilities” are severe chronic conditions caused by mental and/or physical impairments. Individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities may be so profoundly impacted that they will never be able to live independently. Most of these disabilities are apparent long before a child reaches the age of 22, some are not. Unfortunately for these individuals, these disabilities will last a lifetime.
So how can a parent be certain that their disabled adult child will be taken care of after the parent is gone? Some attorneys will recommend you leave everything to other neurotypical child(ren) to care for the sibling with the disability. This passing of the torch is unfair and, in many ways, ill-advised. I’ll explain the reasons to you when we meet. But rest assured, I’ll help you make the right decision and protect your family member. I’m a father of four. I love my boys. I want the best for them. I’ll be the same way with your family and loved one… sincere, compassionate and understanding. Together we’ll come up with the right decisions and plan.
Here’s a Recent Federal Law You Should Know About
Congress recently passed the SNT Fairness Act. This law allows for an individual to create his/her own self-settled (First Party) Special Needs Trust. The prior law required a parent, grandparent or an order of the court to create such a trust. A Special Needs Trust can really make a difference in the life of someone important to you. Contact me today to discuss the details of this law and I will guide you going forward.
You can protect your disabled adult child today by contacting me toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me protect the adult child who is the love of your life.
Written by Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a New Jersey Special Needs Trust Attorney