Five Essential Estate Planning Documents For A Special Needs Family. At the minimum, a special needs child deserves a parent’s continued stewardship and guidance, even though the parent may be incapacitated or deceased. Therefore, the parents of a special needs child should typically have the following five estate planning documents prepared:
(1) Last will and testament.
(2) General durable power of attorney for financial affairs (“GDPA”). The parent’s GDPA should permit the agent to make discretionary non-support distributions to or for the benefit of the special needs child, and to establish a SNT for the benefit of the special needs child.
(3) Durable medical power of attorney.
(4) Revocable living trust. During a parent’s period of incapacity, the parent’s revocable living trust should contain language that permits the trustee to make discretionary non-support distributions to or for the benefit of the special needs child. Upon the parent’s death, the special needs child’s inheritance should be distributed to a third-party created and funded SNT previously established by the parent.
(5) Third-party created and funded SNT.