Why More Seniors Need to Plan for Children with Special Needs

Americans are living longer than they did in years past, especially those with special needs. According to one count, 480,000 adults with mental retardation are living with parents who are 60 or older. This figure does not include adult children with other forms of special need nor those who live separately, but still depend on their parents for vital support.

When these parents can no longer care for their children due to their own special need or death, the responsibility will fall on siblings, other family members, and the community. In many cases, expenses will increase dramatically when care and guidance provided by parents must instead be provided by a professional for a fee.

Planning by parents can make all the difference in the life of the child with a special need, as well as that of his or her siblings who may be left with the responsibility for caretaking (on top of their own careers and caring for their own families and, possibly, ailing parents).

Every plan for a child with special needs should include a

  • plan of care and
  • special needs trust.

Most should also include life insurance to make certain that the special needs trust has sufficient funds.

The good news is that advance planning for a child with special needs can make a significant difference in his or her life. You just have to take the first step.

Article Last Modified: 05/03/2006

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