FINANCIAL PLANNING FOR SPECIAL NEEDS FAMILIES: PART 2
This blog is the second part in the series “Financial Planning for Special Needs Families”.
Financial Planning begins with identifying one’s estate. This is called ‘Estate Planning’ or ‘Succession Planning’.
Let’s first understand what comprises Estate? In layman terms, ‘Estate’ is your total net worth which includes
– Your bank accounts
– Immovable properties
– Insurance policies
– Mutual funds
– Any other assets you may have to your name
In simple words, whatever you own is your estate.
The hard fact of life is that everyone has to go some day. So, one needs to plan during his lifetime what happens to his estate after he is gone. One needs to figure out during his lifetime, distribution of his assets in order to keep maximum assets within the family with least legal hassles.
Typically, parents leave their estate to their children. However, you may also decide to leave a part of your estate to your siblings, nephews, nieces, friends or some charitable organisation.
Usually people do their estate planning in middle age. However, when you have a child with special needs, this process of estate planning can get fairly complicated. Also, in such scenario, it is advisable to start planning at the earliest.
The process of estate planning becomes complex when you have a special needs child. All parents are in a traumatic state after discovering their child’s condition. Along with this, they have to accept that they won’t be around their child throughout his life. The most important step is to first accept this hard reality and make a plan that is full proof and smart.
The next very important step is to identify your assets. Make a list of all the assets that you own and make a distribution plan amongst all your children, including special needs child, in a way that it seems fair to everyone. This is a very important step as it involves the whole family not only financially but also emotionally. The documentation for the same should be detailed and full proof to ensure that the assets go where and how you want them to go. It is advisable to involve a Professional for this process.
While doing estate planning, it is very important to have an in depth understanding of various related provisions of the Indian income tax laws. Also, one should be aware of various saving and investment avenues to maximise your investment growth. Also, it is very important to be aware of various exemptions available with respect to a special needs child. (Will be discussed in upcoming blogs)
I have tried to explain the importance of Estate Planning and its basic process in very simplified manner. However, if you have some query, you can WhatsApp on +91 9910353219 or email your query email@example.com
Author Shivani Lohia
Shivani Lohia is a Chartered Accountant by profession and mother to 8 years old child on the autism spectrum. The cause of autism awareness is very close to her heart and she strongly believes in equal education for all & strongly advocates inclusion. She has been homeschooling her son since he was 5 years old.
Creative representation for this blog is beautifully done by our extremely talented CreativeSaathi associate Nikhil Thotam.