Each family is unique, and as a result estate planning is not a cookie-cutter affair.
On the one hand there is the matter of preparing your assets for eventual distribution. The best way to proceed will vary on a case-by-case basis. Some people have complicated financial situations that require advanced estate planning techniques and the implementation of tax efficiency strategies.
Others have simpler situations, and there is an ideal solution for every family.
Positioning your resources optimally is part of the equation, but you also have to consider the unique nature of each person on your inheritance list. It is not as simple as slicing up a pie and handing out slices to everyone who will be receiving an inheritance.
One type of situation that requires some intelligent and informed planning is that of leaving behind resources for the benefit of a family member with special needs. Many people with disabilities require expensive long-term care, and government benefits often pay for the care.
If an individual with special-needs was to receive a large inheritance directly this could impact his or her benefit eligibility. Therefore, it is important to discuss such a situation with your estate planning lawyer before you take any actions.
There are trusts called supplemental or special needs trusts that can be created for the benefit of a person with a disability. These trusts can provide an improved quality of life without impacting benefit eligibility.
When you explain your situation to your attorney he or she will guide you as you take steps to provide for your entire family in an optimal manner in light of any and all challenging circumstances that may exist.