What is the importance of writing a ‘Will’ in case of a special needs family member?
‘Will’ is a legal instrument that declares the intent of the ‘Will’ maker as to how he wants his properties, assets and money to be distributed after his death.
The importance of a Will becomes paramount when family has a special needs child. Apart from distribution of wealth, the Will also addresses different issues to remove ambiguity for a secured future of the special needs child.
In case a family has a special needs child/member, a well drafted ‘Will’ not only makes available to such member, his rightful share in family assets but also ensures that such member is taken care of in terms of his medical needs, other requirements and has a financially dignified life even in the absence of his parents.
A well drafted ‘Will” ensures complete financial independence, care and overall independent life for such special needs person.
Apart from wealth distribution, what role a ‘Will’ plays in regard to appointment of a Guardian for their special needs child?
In case of a special needs child, apart from distribution of wealth
- Parents can appoint a Guardian in their ‘Will’ for their special needs child who will take care of him after their death
- The ‘Will’ will mention the exact capacity in which the Guardian will manage the affairs of the child
- It is wise to make provision for an alternate Guardian in case the first choice is not available
- Parents can also appoint two Guardians for their special needs child, one to manage the personal affairs of the child (caretaker) and another to manage the financial affairs. It is very important that the ‘Will’ mentions the identity of such Guardians in detail.
- Parents can also allocate a particular asset (e.g. life insurance) in their ‘Will’ for meeting the expenses in relation to a guardian appointed by them e.g. travel expenses, etc.
List of important considerations while drafting a ‘Will’ in case of a special needs child.
- The ‘Will’ should clearly spell out the exact nature of disability, medical issues and kind & level of support needed by the special needs child
- As already mentioned above, ‘Will’ should mention who will be the Guardian of the special needs child in case of death of parents and in what capacity this person will render his responsibilities
- In case, the special needs child has siblings, then it becomes very important that the parents distribute their wealth in a way that the share of the special needs child is enough to provide for his life time wholesome care, and at the same time appears fair to his siblings