As the parent of a child with special needs, your financial responsibility will likely continue after you are gone. Fortunately, government programs and long-term care planning options can help you provide for your child for his or her entire life.
Here are three options for providing financially for your child with special needs, according to Forbes. You may be able to use all three without affecting your child’s eligibility for federal government assistance such as Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid.
Long-term care insurance
This type of insurance supplements other health insurance and includes additional care, such as the cost of caregiving at home, in an assisted-living facility or in a nursing home. Currently, the cost of a full-time, in-home caregiver is around $50,000, while a private room in a nursing home may cost close to $100,000.
529 ABLE account
Thanks to the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014, you may open a tax-deferred savings account for your child that can pay for disability-related expenses later. The funds act as a supplement to your child’s government benefits. There is a limit to the amount you can contribute to the account each year, so if you go this route, the sooner you start, the better. However, others can contribute post-tax funds to the account, as well.
Special needs trust
Like most trusts, you transfer assets to a special needs trust and appoint a trustee to manage them on behalf of the beneficiary. Your child cannot act as the trustee of the funds or he or she will no longer qualify for federal benefits.