Special Needs Trusts: Protecting Your Most Special Loved Ones
Our loved ones who are disabled and receive government benefits are some of the most vulnerable in our community. The income that they receive from disability and any part-time work that they can manage is never enough. However, there is no way that they can ever make enough money themselves to provide for their basic needs. It is only right that their loved ones want to help protect them by leaving them money in their wills. Did you know that if you do that then you would likely put their disability payments and Medicaid at risk? There is every likelihood that your generosity could cause them more harm than good. You can protect them with a Special Needs Trust.
Benefits of a Special Needs Trust
Fortunately, there is a way to both leave money to help your special person and not endanger their disability benefits: a special needs trust. The creation of a special needs trust ensures that there are funds to help pay for vital things like housing, cars, wheelchairs, or medications not covered by insurance. Its also safe. Because the person has no independent right to the funds it does not put their benefits at risk. Additionally, if the person is not able to handle their own money, then it is protected and put to the best use. If there is money left when they pass away then those funds will be given to the person who you state in the trust.
Features of a Special Needs Trust
Your special needs trust may include any of the following features:
- An independent trustee who can ensure that the money is invested and spent wisely.
- A trust protector to ensure that changes can be made to the trust, or that actions can be reviewed if there are concerns.
- Provisions to allow the trust to own property, vehicles, etc., for the benefit of your loved one.
- A successor beneficiary who will receive the funds after your loved one dies.
- Assurance that you can still help your loved one without jeopardizing their benefits.
Next Steps To Protect Your Loved Ones:
Contact us to set up a consultation with an attorney about the best path to meet your goals. Your consultation will include discussions of your goals, your dreams, your assets, and how we can help you meet those goals. We look forward to talking to you soon.
If you want to read more, check out these resources.
Special Needs Alliance: Your Special Needs Trust
Metlife: What is a Special Needs Trust?
Special Needs Financial Planning: A Parent’s Guide to Special Need Trusts