What You Do When you Make an Estate PlanWhat You Do When you Make an Estate Plan

As you’re about to see, making an estate plan involves doing several things. The end result from all this planning is protection of:

  • Your child’s long-term ability to receive important government benefits.
  • Your ability to make important decisions about the future for you, your family, and your child with special needs.
  • The way your estate—your property and possessions—is distributed among your family members in ways that provide them with the greatest benefits.

The majority of your work in estate planning is preparing legal documents that will provide the protections noted above. You’ll also select the people who will help you prepare those documents and carry out (execute) the plans you’ve stated in them.

Steps You’ll Take to Create an Estate Plan

The types of estate planning documents you’ll create and people you’ll need to work with in creating them are listed below. The order in which they are listed is a mere suggestion. The attorney you select to help you create the special needs trust will guide you through these steps.

 Step Documentation People
 Write a Letter of Intent x  
 Select a Special Needs Trust Attorney   x
 Select a Trustee for the Special Needs Trust   x
 Prepare a Special Needs Trust x  
 Select a Guardian   x
 Prepare Guardianship Papers  x  
 Prepare a Living Will  x  
 Select a Trustee for Your Will    x
 Prepare a Will   x  
 Select a Power of Attorney    x
 Prepare Durable Power of Attorney Papers
(for financial decisions)
 Prepare a Health Care Proxy (for medical decisions;
 also known as "health care surrogate" or "durable medical power of attorney")