Planning for Disabled Children

Authors: William Browning and Keith Stevens

Raising a child with disabilities has many rewards and challenges. Estate planning which is centered around a disabled child is more complex than planning for a minor child. If you die while your child or children are young, other family members can raise that child with the money that you set aside and help them become capable and productive adults. For many disabled children, their capabilities are limited and planning is required for the balance of their life. While the key considerations such as money management and housing issues are most obvious, healthcare benefits are equally challenging.

So long as you are alive and employed and your child is under the age of 26, he or she will be covered by your employer-sponsored healthcare benefits. Once you have retired or passed away, those employer-sponsored healthcare benefits cease. Thereafter, Medicare and Medicaid will be the primary health insurance options. For those who are disabled but employable, they may also be eligible for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

The key questions to consider in planning for such a child are as follows:

  1. Will your child be able to live independently in an apartment or residence?
  2. If not, will they be able to reside in an apartment or residence with limited assistance?
  3. Will your child be employable?
  4. Who will oversee Trust finances to support your child?
  5. Who will make medical decisions for your child?
  6. Will a guardianship be required?

At Isaac Wiles, a number of our attorneys are parents of disabled children and share your experiences and concerns. Isaac Wiles is committed to assisting families with disabled children and has been instrumental in protecting those rights in the courtroom when necessary. The two Ohio Supreme Court trust cases which govern planning for disabled children were litigated by our lawyers.

For more information, please contact estate planning attorney William Browning or Keith Stevens at 614.221.2121.