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Individuals With Special Needs

A variety of options are available to help families handle the complex planning issues they face

Although the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 reduced the importance of estate tax planning for many, it didn't obviate the need for estate plans for non-tax reasons such as asset protection, guardianship, elder law and special needs planning. For families who have members with special needs (for example, an individual who has physical or mental disabilities), the estate planning concerns are magnified. These families face many difficult and complex planning issues in addition to the typical issues faced by all families. After all, what could be more important than making sure the future of a family member with special needs is secure?

Planning must assure appropriate management of finances and personal decisions in the event both parents become disabled or die, with a goal towards avoiding future problems. Parents might also need to continue making decisions for an individual with special needs during adulthood, provide for future residential needs and find someone to care for the individual when they're no longer able.

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