Planning for a loved one with special needs is complicated. I regularly guide clients through the process. Guardianship, public benefits and services, special education, and living arrangements are just some of the issues that you face if your child has special needs.
Providing for your child’s financial future may seem impossible. Even if your special needs beneficiary qualifies for every possible government program, he or she may not be able to afford the quality of life that you desire. Leaving assets to your child outright could result in the loss of benefits and require guardianship. Disinheriting your special needs child and relying on another beneficiary to “take care of” the disinherited person can result in the special needs child receiving little or nothing.
A properly drafted and administered Special Needs Trust is a key component of any plan that is intended to benefit a special needs beneficiary. The assets in held in such a trust can be used to provide a higher quality of life for the trust beneficiary without sacrificing benefits. It is important to understand that the Special Needs Trust must be properly designed and properly administered.
A different type of Special Needs Trust is used when a disabled individual’s own assets are used to fund the trust. When the disabled person’s money is used to fund the trust, any assets remaining at his or her death must first be used to pay back the State for the amount of any public assistance benefits the beneficiary received during life. This type of trust is often used when a disabled individual is awarded a settlement from a personal injury case or receives an inheritance.
If you or your loved one are in need of special needs planning, I can help you evaluate the alternatives and help you plan appropriately for the future.