Planning for a loved one who has special needs often involves unique circumstances and may require extra care. If you are their primary financial provider or caregiver, you will probably want to ensure that your loved one is getting the proper care and funding they need in the event that you are no longer able to provide it for them. There are a variety of techniques that can be incorporated into your estate plan to care for your loved one who has special needs.
A special needs trust is a legal arrangement that allows individuals with disabilities to receive financial support without jeopardizing their eligibility for government benefits such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It is designed to provide for the needs of a person with a disability while preserving their eligibility for public assistance programs. A special needs trust can protect eligibility for government benefits, ensuring financial security, and providing for the long-term care and support of individuals with special needs.
It is important to make sure your assets are accurately accounted for and documented in the trust. If assets are not properly aligned with a special needs trust, it can create significant problems for your loved one with special needs. When assets are not held within a special needs trust, they are considered countable resources and can impact the individual’s eligibility for government benefits such as Medicaid and SSI. This can result in the loss of crucial benefits and support that the individual relies on for their healthcare, housing, and other essential needs. Properly aligning assets with a special needs trust ensures that the individual can maintain their eligibility for government benefits while still having access to supplemental resources to maintain their quality of life. It allows for the management and distribution of funds in a way that does not jeopardize their benefits while still providing for their long-term care and support.
Without a special needs trust, individuals may be forced to reduce their assets to qualify for government benefits, leaving them with limited resources to meet their ongoing needs. Additionally, if assets are left directly to the individual with a disability through a will or inheritance, it can disqualify them from receiving government benefits until those assets are depleted.
Be sure to plan properly for your loved one. Give us a call if you would like to set up a complimentary consultation or if you have any questions regarding special needs trusts.