Estate Planning When You Have Children With Special Needs
The Savvy Parent Podcast
Estate Planning When You Have Children With Special Needs

Creating an estate plan is critical for any family, but is even more important when you have children with special needs. Lawyer and estate planning expert Shannon McNulty discusses what parents need to know when it comes to creating a comprehensive estate plan that will take care of the needs of all your children.

Plan Legally and Practically

When you have children with special needs, you’ll want to make sure that the legal documents in your estate plan are in order: your will, living trust, power of attorney and health care proxy. You’ll also want to be sure that guardianship is clearly addressed, which is so important for a parent of any child. However, when it comes to your child(ren) with special needs, you will want to be sure that you have chosen a person who will be able to care for your child in the way that you want, and that you are planning financially as well. 

Care is Long-Term

For many children, we assume they will be able to care for themselves as they enter adulthood, and we plan for this accordingly in an estate plan. However, for children with special needs, the care they need (physically, medically, mentally, and emotionally) will be long-term and likely more extensive and costly. This all needs to be considered with your financial and legal plans. Working with a professional can help ensure that your complete estate plan is in place and that your children will be taken care of in the event that you are no longer able to.

Resources mentioned

Here’s what we mean by a complete estate plan

Learn more about life insurance

Here are the 5 insurance policies you need

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Learn more about McNulty Law

About the Author

Shannon McNulty

Shannon McNulty is the founder of The Savvy Parents Group and founder of The Village Law Firm, which provides legal planning for parents with young children. Shannon received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and her LL.M. in Taxation from NYU School of Law. She has also earned her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER(TM) designation. You can learn more about Shannon and her firm at

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