How to Plan for Your Autistic Child In Case You Die

How to Plan for Your Autistic Child In Case You Die

Change, no matter how simple, may be difficult for a child with autism.

An unexpected death can disrupt the world of an autistic child.

Therefore, as a parent, you need to plan for your autistic child in the event of your death to ensure that they have all the care and support they may need after your death.

One way to support your autistic child in the event of your death is by naming a guardian for them.

Autistic children under 18 cannot manage their finances and make decisions, so they need a guardian to help them.

Also, setting up a special needs trust for your autistic child before death is essential.

Having a trustee does not mean that your child does not have access to your properties.

It just means they will hold your property in trust when your autistic child is mentally and physically incapable of managing your assets.

Furthermore, planning for your autistic child in the event of death also requires that you have a life insurance policy.

This type of insurance ensures that your child has access to all the financial help they may need to live a good and worry-free financial life.

Read on to learn more about how you can plan for your autistic child in case you die:

Autism Therapists in Colorado

Emily Murphy, LPC

Emily Murphy, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Laura Brinkman, MA, LPCC

Laura Brinkman, MA, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Rebecca Johnson, LPCC, NCC

Rebecca Johnson, LPCC, NCC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Sarah Tapia, LPCC

Sarah Tapia, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Deb Corbitt, LPC

Deb Corbitt, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Vanessa Dewitt, LCSW

Vanessa Dewitt, LCSW

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Donna Janiec, LPC, NCC

Donna Janiec, LPC, NCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Holly Bradbury, LPC

Holly Bradbury, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Brooke Moraski, LPCC, NCC

Brooke Moraski, LPCC, NCC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Marie Whatley LPCC

Marie Whatley LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424

Name a Guardian for Your Child

One of the ways to plan for your autistic child is by naming a guardian who will provide the support and care that your child needs in the event of your death.

Having someone who will serve as the primary decision-maker and caregiver for your autistic child is essential, especially when your child is under the age of 18.

Naming a guardian for your child may be slightly difficult because it requires that you painstakingly search for the best person to take care of your autistic child the way you would.

When picking a guardian for your child, it is vital to choose someone directly involved in your child's life so that the transition of care is smooth and easy.

Your child's guardian should be someone who has bonded with your child and can handle the commitment.

Furthermore, guardianship is not only required for autistic children under 18.

It is also essential for children who have reached adulthood but are still incapable of independently making financial and medical decisions.

Set Up a Special Needs Account 

Another way to plan for your autistic child in case you die is by setting up a special needs trust.

A special needs trust requires one person or institution (the trustee) to hold and manage assets for the beneficiary, which is your child.

Appointing a trustee who will help manage your financial and mental assets is important because your autistic child may be mentally and physically unable to control the properties you bequeath to them after your death.

Also, setting up a special needs trust is vital because it is a way to ensure that your autistic child has all the financial care they may need throughout their lifetime.

It also ensures that your property is used for your child as intended.

Furthermore, a special needs trust may be discretionary.

The trust is discretionary when the trustee, with his discretion, is allowed to invest the trust and use both capital and profit for your child's benefit. 

Have a Life Insurance Policy 

Having a life insurance policy is another way to plan for your autistic child in case you die.

Taking out life insurance is a way of easing the financial strain of the future care of your autistic child on them or their caregiver.

Life insurance is purchased through the payment of monthly premiums to an insurance company that pays out a lump sum or annuity to your nominees after you pass away.

Your life insurance policy may also cover your funeral expenses, reducing the financial burden of burying you on your loved ones.

Also, while preparing to have life insurance, identify and estimate the costs of your child's needs.

Expenses may include medications, therapy, or schooling.

Estimating the costs will help you determine an appropriate amount to pay as your monthly premium.

Furthermore, a life insurance policy is a must for parents of a child with a disability, and the sooner you start life insurance, the better it is.

No matter the age you pass away, your child with autism will always benefit from your insurance policy. 

Draft a Letter of Intent 

A way to plan for your autistic child in case you die is by drafting a letter of intent.

Although a letter of intent is not legally binding, it is an essential document that communicates your desires for your autistic child.

It also gives invaluable details to all future caregivers after your death.

A letter of intent may cover many details, such as essential medical information, daily schedules and routines, and financial details.

It may also contain details about your child's current therapies/services and suggestions/insights about what might be needed in the future as your child ages.

Also, in the case where you do not have the means to draft your will, a letter of intent can serve as a means for you to quickly draft important information, such as where to find legal documents and records depending on the situation you may find yourself.

Unlike a will, a letter of intent may be updated regularly and quickly depending on the changes in your child's life or financial assets.

It may also be used in place of a will, depending on the circumstance surrounding your last testament. 

Write a Will

Writing a will to give special instructions on how your property should be handled is another way to plan for your autistic child in the event of your death.

A will specifies how your assets would be distributed after you die and makes provision for the special needs child's future financial needs.

It might not be advisable to bequeath your assets directly to your autistic child.

This is because they may face difficulty in managing their affairs.

Instead, you may nominate a family member or guardian who will handle your child's inheritance on their behalf.

Also, you may include provisions for liquidating your assets and injecting the proceeds into your child's special needs trust fund.

Liquidation ensures that your child has sufficient means of meeting their financial needs and future expenses.

Furthermore, to prevent conflicts after your death, it is advisable to have a legal practitioner who would assist you in creating a legally binding testament and help with the smooth passage of your assets to your child. 

Conclusion

Although death is uncontrollable and usually unplanned, you still have control over how things will run even after you die.

As a parent, it is your responsibility to support your autistic child by ensuring they have all the support and guidance they need to continue living their lives.

You can plan for your autistic child by naming a guardian for them, setting up a special needs trust, having a life insurance policy, drafting a letter of intent, and writing a will. 

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May 25th, 2024

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