Professionals Help Families with Children with Special Needs Plan

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CPAs and Tax Attorneys Help Families with Children with Special Needs Plan For the Future

More than ever, it’s important for CPAs and financial planners to ask their clients about the presence of a child with special needs in the family. This helps clients begin to create a special needs plan for their child’s future. Many such parents are worried about securing their child’s future during their retirement and after their death and need professional help. A study by the U.S. Census reveals that over 3 million children have a disability, about 4.3% of the under-18 population, and it’s estimated that one in five households is caring for a child with special needs. The number is growing because of changes in diagnostic criteria; for example, the prevalence of autism is now one in every 68 children, an increase driven by greater awareness of the autism spectrum.

Why Do I Need A CPA or Tax Attorney for Special Needs Planning?

If you have a child with special needs work with a tax attorney and CPA to ensure they are well-provided for. You should address all aspects of life, including legal considerations, potential government benefits, transition planning, residential options, employment opportunities, recreational choices, investment solutions and family communication. Together, you can identify the potential life needs of the individual with special needs. This includes quality of life, medical needs, education, and recreation, based on their ability to support themselves. This helps quantify medical expense deductions, identify tax returns to be filed, and clarify other expenses not yet accounted for.

Simultaneously, begin discussions about legal considerations, including wills, powers-of-attorney, trusts and guardianships. Retain an attorney who is knowledgeable about such details as special needs trusts and guardianships. It is critical to understand how the taxation of these trusts are handled into the future.

Skilled professionals like those at AJM&A, Ltd. will help identify all the benefits the individual will be eligible for. We can help the family plan for what happens when the individual with special needs ages out of state-supported education and has to find a place to live, work and play. When the family realizes that the planning is now up to them it can be overwhelming. Like all estate plans, planning for an individual with special needs is not a one-and-done scenario. Families will need regular reviews to understand the changes that may occur. New legislation may be enacted that impacts their plans, or a program may be discontinued.

Families of individuals with special needs spend a great deal of time delivering care and finding resources to help them care for their loved one. It’s often hard for them to step back and consider the future. Their CPA and tax attorney can and should offer the knowledge and guidance they need.
Together you can identify the potential life needs of the individual with special needs. This includes quality of life, medical needs, education, and recreation, based on their ability to support themselves. This helps quantify medical expense deductions, identify tax returns to be filed, and clarify other expenses not yet accounted for.