Special Needs and Disability Planning

Are you the parent of a minor or adult disabled child?

Do you stay up at night worrying about how to provide for your child when you are no longer able to do so? Do you think, maybe it’s best not to leave them anything and rely on brothers or sisters to take care of them.  This is not a good solution. It puts unwarranted emotional burdens on your other children and, if any of them run into financial trouble or get divorced – there goes the money to take care of their brother or sister.

So what’s the answer?

A trust.  The right trust will not interfere with eligibility for Medicaid or other benefit programs – and can ensure money will be available to pay for extras like clothing, furniture, education, therapy, and even vacations.

The type of trust you choose is critical.  The type of trusts I’m talking about are called Supplemental Needs Trusts.

You can create a trust now that will channel money into the trust through your will after you die.  And as well, if you have other family members, or friends, who wish to help provide for your child, they  too can fund this trust through their estate plan.

There is another type of trust designed to hold your child’s own money – in case they get a job or an inheritance.  This trust can only be created by a parent, grandparent, guardian or court and is meant to keep the child’s savings under program limits so they keep their benefits.  We recommend parents create this trust as a stand-by in case it is needed at a time when they are no longer here.  It saves a lot of hassles down the road.

A third type of supplemental needs trust is one created for the sole benefit of a disabled person – they don’t even have to be related to you!  This type of trust is very handy especially when a personal move to a nursing home is contemplated.  By creating this type of trust the person moving to the nursing home can qualify for Medicaid without any transfer penalty, and the disabled child can also maintain their eligibility for benefits.

Contact Attorney Margot Birke for More Information

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