According to a 2007 census bureau survey, some 6.2% of children ages 5 – 15, a total of 2.8 million children, have disabilities. Individuals with disabilities are living longer than ever. Many disabled children will outlive their parents who support them. The Wall Street Journal published an article on October 9, 2008 titled “An Estate Plan Built for Special Needs”. The piece emphasized the need to make sure that relatives’ estate plans are coordinated. The article pointed out that often times, grandparents and parents of disabled children do not coordinate their plans which can result in a disqualification of the disabled child for certain medical and other supplemental government benefits. In addition, unless a qualified trustee or guardian and conservator are appointed in a parents’ estate plan for their disabled child, assets can be squandered by unscrupulous individuals in charge of these assets. If you have or know of anyone with a special needs child, please do not hesitate to refer them to us for a consultation and review.

Dan A. Penning