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Using estate planning to ensure your children are protected

There are a lot of things in life that need planning. Although many New Jersey parents choose to delay thinking about how their estate will be administered when they die, ensuring that the proper estate planning documents are in place can be crucial. This planning can be especially vital for a child who has special needs and may need continued assistance well past the time they turn 18.

Understanding the law surrounding public assistance for special needs children can be an important first step. In many states, there is a personal asset limit that a child can possess if they are to be deemed eligible for state assistance. Finding if such a figure exists in local and state law, can help a family plan for the manner in which their assets are distributed.

It may also be important for the parents to write a detailed letter outlining how they feel their child should be cared for by their appointed guardian. This can provide the guardian with a road map as to the child's needs and can make the transition process a little less difficult. As a result of all of the potential issues, a parent may benefit from understanding as many of these potential issues as possible so that they can come up with the most informed and detailed plan possible.

A little planning can go a long way to ensuring that an individual's assets are used in the most efficient manner possible. Taking early steps through a proper estate planning process can ensure that a complete plan is put into place. This can allow a family to rest easier knowing that in the event of their death, they have done everything in their power to protect the future of their loved ones.

Source: Cleveland.com, "Estate planning critical for parents of special needs kids: Solon couple tell their story," Brittney Edelman, Sept. 1, 2012

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