FINANCIAL PLANNING SERIES – BLOG 8 – WRITING A WILL FOR YOUR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD – An Overview
Continuing with the ‘Financial Planning Series for Special Needs Families’, today’s blog gives an overview about ‘Writing a Will for your Special Needs Child’. Just like ‘Trust’ (discussed in the last blog), ‘Will’ is also an effective tool to plan a secured future for our special needs child. It ensures that the special needs child is taken care of appropriately, in all respects, even after the demise of both the parents. So, let’s begin.
What is a ‘Will’?
‘Will’ is a legal instrument that declares the intent of the ‘Will’ maker as to how he wants his properties, assets and money to be distributed after his death.
What is the importance of writing a ‘Will’ in case of a special needs child?
The importance of a ‘Will’ becomes even more prominent when a family has a special needs child. A well written ‘Will’ addresses issues related to distribution of wealth by making available his rightful share to such child, ensuring that his all needs, whether medical or others are taken care of and removes ambiguity for a secured future of this special needs child. A well drafted ‘Will’ ensures a financially dignified life too.
Apart from appropriate distribution of wealth, what role a ‘Will’ plays for a special needs child?
In case of a special needs child, apart from distribution of wealth
– Parents can identify a ‘Guardian’ for their child who will take care of him after their death and appoint him in their ‘Will’
– This ‘Will’ will clearly mention the exact capacity in which the Guardian will manage the child’s affairs
– The ‘Will’ mentions the identity of such Guardian in detail.
– It is very important to make provision for an alternate Guardian
– Parents can also decide to appoint two Guardians for their special needs child, one to manage the personal affairs of the child (caretaker) and another to manage the financial affairs.
– Parents can also decide to allocate a particular asset in their ‘Will’ for meeting the expenses in relation to a guardian appointed by them
What important considerations parents should keep in mind while drafting a ‘Will’ in case they have a special needs child?
– It is very important that the parents mention the exact nature of disability, medical issues and kind & level of support needed by the special needs child in their ‘Will’. This will be very helpful for the Guardian who will take care of the child after the parents’ demise.
– As already discussed, ‘Will’ should clearly mention who will be the Guardian of the special needs child in case of death of parents, his identity and capacity in which he will render his responsibilities (caretaker, financial management, etc)
– In case, other than the special needs child, a couple has other children, who are NT, then it is important that the wealth is distributed in such a way that it appears fair to the other children and the share of the special needs child is enough to provide for his life time wholesome care.
Hope this blog has been helpful in understanding the importance of ‘Will’ with regard to a special needs child. You can read more about ‘Will’ on http://www.autismfinancialplanning.com.
In case, you need any information or clarification or want to share anything, feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp +91 9910353219.
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 done by our extremely talented CreativeSaathi associate Nikhil Thotam