Sunday, November 18, 2012

All Grown Up

I have been an adult now for over 30 years, however these days I am feeling a little bit more grown up than I had been.  It isn't that I haven't had my share of responsibilities over the years to contribute to my being a full fledged grown up.  Being the father of an 18 year old with special needs pretty much forces you to be a grown up, whether you want to or not.

So, you may ask, what monumental event has occurred that has prompted me to feel more grown up?  My wife and I have finalized our wills.  With our son, it is particularly important for us to spell out in advance how any assets that we have are handled.  

For my son to continue to receive his SSI benefits, he can not have assets in excess of $2000.  Consequently, we can ill afford to have any assets pass directly to him.  That is why we have spelled out in our wills the establishment of a special needs trust.  This way, no assets directly pass to him, and he will maintain his eligibility to collect his benefits.

We were fortunate.  My father in law had an attorney that he deals with that he referred us to for discussing planning for our son after he turned 18.  As part of that, he has picked up the attorney fees.  Had he not done so, I could have used a benefit from my company's employee assistance program that would have allowed us to get our wills completed.

But what if you aren't that fortunate to have somebody else pick up the tab?  Well, if you happen to live in the state of Texas, you should check out Texas last will and testament.  At that website, you can find an affordable on line alternative to hiring a lawyer directly.  You fill out a questionnaire, the lawyers write your documents, and send them to you.  They give you all instructions for signing the documents.

It's as simple as that.  Regardless of whether or not you decide to go with an online will service or hire an attorney, you need to plan for your future.  You need to have all options considered so that your heirs can be in the optimal situation when that time occurs.  Not having a will, could have a negative impact on my son's ability to maintain his benefit.  It is the least I could do for him.
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