As you create your estate plan, it’s important to consider any people in your life who have special needs. For example, should you have a special needs child, you’ll want to take specific action to ensure their well-being after you’re gone.
Not only does special needs planning help care for your loved one after your passing, but it’ll also give you peace of mind.
The Importance of Special Needs Planning
It’s natural to worry about your child’s future. This is even more so the case if they have special needs, as they may require specialized care (which can be costly).
On the surface, it’s easy to assume that directly leaving some or all of your assets to your child is the best way to help them. However, this is a big mistake, as doing so could make them ineligible for government benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid.
Just the same, think twice before you directly gift your child money while you’re alive. This can also disqualify them for government assistance, thus putting additional stress on both of you.
Use a Special Needs Trust
Since you’re concerned about eligibility for benefits, a special needs trust is typically the best strategy.
With this, you can designate assets for things such as medical care, housing, and general maintenance. And since you’re doing so through a trust, as opposed to direct gifting, there are no concerns about disqualification for state and federal benefits.
There is more to creating a special needs trust than meets the eye. In addition to moving assets into the trust, you must also name a trustee to oversee it. Furthermore, it must be organized appropriately so there’s no question as to whether it’s a special needs trust.
If you have questions about estate planning, including how to create a special needs trust, you’re in the right place. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced estate planning attorneys.