Do you have a loved one with special needs or a disability? If so, then you might be worried about what their future will look like when you’re not around for them. This is understandable, and a powerful reason to engage in strong estate planning. By doing so, you can put your fears to rest and better ensure that your loved one receives the care and treatment he or she needs moving forward.
But won’t the providing of assets to an individual with a disability or special needs affect his or her ability to qualify for government assistance? Not if you plan carefully. One way to do so is to create a special needs trust. These entities allow you to place assets in a trust to cover specific costs your loved one might face. So long as funds from the trust are used for certain expenses and not things unrelated to their condition and treatment, trust funds will not be counted when it comes to qualifying for programs like Social Security disability, Medicaid, Medicare, and Supplemental Security Income.
Another benefit of the special needs trust come from its irrevocable status. Sure, this means you won’t be able to remove assets or the trust as a whole once created, but it also protects trust assets from creditors and judgments. Therefore, it provides another layer of protection for your loved one to ensure that they are able to enjoy those assets you choose to set aside from them.
When creating a special needs trust, though, you need to be careful about the language you use and who you choose as a trustee. This is the only way to ensure that the trust is legally enforceable and that it will be managed properly. If you want to learn more about this kind of trust and other estate planning tools at your disposal, consider discussing your circumstances with someone who is qualified in this area of the law.