Many parents with a disabled child worry about how their child will be cared for after they’re gone.
Young children and adults with disabilities often receive governmental benefits, particularly Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). One overriding question parents grapple with is ‘what would happen to the governmental benefits if their child received monetary gifts or an inheritance’. They fear that money given or left for the child would make the child ineligible for government benefits.
Struggling between the overwhelming desire to provide care, resources and a secure future, and the loss of crucial government benefits that would result from an inheritance received by a person with a disability, is enough to keep any parent with a special needs child, up at night.\
Families may find comfort in knowing, with the proper planning, you can designate money for future care and maintenance of a disabled child without compromising their benefits and making them ineligible for government assistance.
A Special Needs Trust (also known as a Supplemental Needs Trust) is a perfect planning tool that allows you to put assets into a Trust and appoint a Trustee, who will manage the funds for the disabled child.\
Even though the child can receive the inheritance through the Special Needs Trust, since the child does not own those assets, the child can remain eligible for government assistance. The Trustee you choose, can manage the Trust assets and distribute funds on behalf of the disabled beneficiary. The Trust assets can be used to help the disabled child with various expenses in order to maintain their lifestyle, care expenses, education, medical care, travel, or hobbies, and other expenses which are not paid for by the governmental benefits the disabled person receives.\
A Special Needs Trust must be handled properly, and the funds distributed according to specific laws and regulations, in order for this planning to work. Otherwise, the gift or inheritance will cause the beneficiary to lose their government benefits.
Our office can assist you with preparing this type of Trust, selecting a Trustee, and funding the Special Needs Trust, to ensure proper planning.
We specialize in educating and helping you protect what you have for the people who matter most. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you and your family.\
By Monet Binder, Esq.