Friday, January 9, 2009

The Special Needs Trust Blues

The Tank and I are trying to finish up our estate planning with our lawyer. (sidenote: estate planning? they think I have an "estate"? pshaw!) In addition to the decisions over naming an executor, health care agent, power of attorney, etc there is the added hand-wringing over establishing a special needs trust. Should we both die, all of our assets would go into this trust for Caden's care rather than as a direct inheritance to him. This protects the money so he isn't taken advantage of or doesn't spend it unwisely. It also assures that he will not lose any of his government-sponsored services. I so appreciate the peace of mind that comes with getting this completed. We will have a guardian for Caden and our money won't get tied up in probate for months unavailable to him. makes me depressed to think about Caden losing his parents and how hard the adjustment might be, especially if he had to move his residence, his schooling, his therapists, his doctors, etc. Those feelings are compounded by the guilt produced with the creation of a special needs trust. My dream is for Caden to be able to live on his own as an adult, have a job and be as independent as possible. That is the motivation for all the work we do with him now. But I feel like this trust is a betrayal to my son because we are assuming incompetence. We are assuming that he won't be able to make financial decisions or hold a job that provides medical insurance for him. It is as if we are writing off his potential at the ripe young age of 3. It gives the impression that we're not walking the walk, just talking the talk. Is it pessimistic or just being realistic to create this special needs trust? Either way it makes me feel like I'm not being honest with Caden. Curse you, necessary evils!


My name is Sarah said...

This is Joyce. I know how hard this is at his age, but now that Sarah is over 18, I realize how important it is. Although it feels heartbreaking to think about it, just remember you are doing the right thing in making sure that your desires are being followed should something happen.

Simply, Sarah said...

Good for you for planning now! I don't even like writing wills, but I know that if we end up adopting our foster baby, I'll be in your same shoes. Preparing an estate and wondering if I'm limiting my perspective on Anthony's future.