Ohio Special Needs Estate Planning


Special needs is the broad category of requirements and care for individuals suffering from a wide range of physical disabilities, medical conditions, intellectual difficulties, or emotional problems, including physical conditions, learning difficulties, and behavioral problems.

What help will the government give us to help financially with our special needs child?

The federal and state governments have numerous benefits that are available to individuals with special needs. These programs vary from state to state, but many also have some type of Medicaid waiver that will cover residential, daycare, career, and other basic services.

Some of these major programs include: (i) Medicaid, which gives basic medical care; (ii) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/Food Stamps) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which provide allowances for food and shelter to people with disabilities; and (iii) Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which helps those with a disability, but requires that the individual hasn’t been able to work for at least a year because of the disability.

There's a lot to keep straight. How do we stay organized?

If you have a child with special needs, it's critical that you maintain all of your documentation in one safe place that you can access easily when needed.

Experts suggest that parents of children with special needs should have a file or lockbox to keep the information that future caregivers will need to care for the child after the parents have passed away.

Make sure that you regularly update the information in the file when there are changes in your family's situation, changes in the needs or desires of your child, and to detail any other issues that may help future caregivers in caring for your child.

So what exactly should be in my file?

Of course, there is no exact list, but you should include these types of documents and maintain your file with any changes:

  • Important legal documents, such as birth certificates, Social Security cards, medical records, prescriptions, and health insurance cards;
  • A Letter of Intent – a non-binding document that gives vital information about the child with special needs to his or her future caregivers. This can be details like your child’s sleeping preferences, eating habits and favorite foods, activities and hobbies, and other aspects of his or her routine;
  • Directions as to your wishes for final arrangements, e.g., burial services, final resting place, or other details you want carried out;
  • Avoid head and heartaches by including an advance health care and financial directives such as powers of attorney, living wills, and health care proxies;
  • Copies of special needs, living, or insurance trusts that may be in effect. (The signed copies or originals may be required to complete property transfers, so also include details about the location of the originals);
  • A list of major assets and information about where they are located, such as insurance policies, investments, bank accounts with policy and account numbers and contact info for brokers, insurance agents, and investment advisors;
  • If you have had them created, include the guardianship documents;
  • The contact information for government agencies or case workers with whom you have worked;
  • A list of government benefits your child may receive, as well as copies of completed applications; and
  • Any other documentation that would assist future caregivers, like tax returns for your child, information about housing, educational programs, and family photographs and small mementos.

That's a lot to cover. Why not let an expert help you? A special needs attorney has the background to make your lives a little easier. Make an appointment to visit with an attorney at Jarvis Law Office, LLC today.

How We Can Help

See All Practice Areas

Resource Center

The Consumer’s Guide to Veterans Benefits
  • The Consumer’s Guide to Veterans Benefits

  • Veterans and their families are often surprised to learn that they may be eligible for up to $2,127/month to help pay for the cost of Alzheimer’s care. My “nuts and bolts” guide reveals the details behind this little-known program.

Learn More

Stay Connected

Latest from Twitter

Attorney You Can Trust

 2015 Top Lawyer by Columbus CEO Magazine
10.0Timothy Paul Jarvis
NAELA Member
Proud Member of Lawyers With Purpose
ElderCounsel Member
Best Estate Planners in Columbus

Visit an Office Near You

Lancaster: (740) 653-3450
Fax: (740) 653-3458

904 N. Columbus Street
Lancaster, OH 43130

Dublin: (614) 495-4185
Fax: (614) 602-8619

270 Bradenton Avenue, Suite 120
Dublin, OH 43017

St. Clairsville: (740) 699-2193
Fax: (740) 699-2194

219 E. Main Street
St. Clairsville, OH 43950

Web Design and Marketing system for Estate and Elder Law Attorneys by Integrity Marketing Solutions

Jarvis Law Office provides services for nearly the entire span of the Elder Care and Estate Planning spectrum in order to help you retain more of your assets and more of your dignity as you age. Jarvis Law Office, LLC serves clients throughout Lancaster, Columbus, Dublin, St. Clairsville and the Surrounding Areas.

Copyright © IMS. All rights reserved. You may reproduce materials available at this site for your own personal use and for non-commercial distribution. All copies must include this copyright statement. Some artwork provided under license agreement.