Estate planning for Parents of children with disabilities

Parents of children with disabilities are often concerned about how they can safeguard their child’s future if they are no longer around. 

We hope that this information will provide you with answers to prepare your Will and estate plan that will manage your affairs and ensures your children are protected from financial abuse as well as being cared for financially.

The importance of preparing a Will

When you pass away, your Will is the legal document that explains who will look after your dependent children. It also specifies how you would like your assets and property divided.

Unfortunately, without any plans in place, your estate will be distributed according to State law, which may not consider how the person with a disability will survive financially or who will look after their general wellbeing. This process can, of course, cause additional emotional and financial distress for your family and loved ones at an already difficult time.

What to consider in your Will Planning

  • Appointing a trustworthy Executor

As part of your Will, you need to nominate an individual or organisation to be responsible for carrying out the wishes in your Will, such as selling property and distributing assets. This person is called your executor. As the role of executor can be quite complex, many people appoint the Public Trustee to be their executor, so that they do not leave the burden of this task to loved ones at an already difficult time.

  • Appointing a Guardian

You will need to consider who will be appointed to be your child’s Guardian if you die before their legal age. You should consider who would have your child’s best interest at heart if you die before their legal age. Who would be the person to take responsibility for your child’s financial, medical and emotional future?

  • Setting up a Trust:

A trust will help provide ongoing support to your loved ones, once you have gone. Setting up a trusts for a child with a disability can safeguard your funds and assets for their ongoing benefit. It is important to get professional advice about setting up a Trust to ensure that the administration of the trust is managed well and other payments such as social security benefit are considered to maximise the trust benefits.

  •  Get the right advice

You need advice tailored to your circumstances.  Our experienced team of legal professionals will discuss the many situations you might encounter in order to ensure you have an estate plan that works for your individual family and financial circumstances.

If you need assistance with administering an estate or preparing an estate plan for your family and would like to book an appointment with one of our experienced solicitors, call the Public Trustee on 1800 068 784 or visit www.publictrustee.gov.au.