If you have a loved one with special needs and you want to include him or her in your planning, you need to take advantage of special needs planning tools. Such planning allows you to leave assets for the care of your loved one, without disqualifying him from receiving vital governmental assistance. Take a look at how a special needs trust can fit in with your overall estate plan. Another alternative may be the use of what is commonly called a “pooled trust”. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to discuss the use of special needs planning, contact a qualified and experienced estate planning attorney who understands and works in the special needs planning field. This is a highly specialized area in which most attorneys, including many estate planning attorneys, do not have experience.
- A special needs trust is essential in order to protect your loved one
If your loved one relies on government benefits in order to pay monthly bills, you likely want to ensure that he or she will always be entitled to these benefits. By leaving assets outright in your loved one’s name, you may prohibit him or her from receiving future benefits.
With the use of a special needs trust, you’re able to give assets and appoint a trustee to manage these assets. The trustee is responsible for using the assets in order to benefit your loved one. Since these assets are titled in the name of the trust, it will not affect your loved one’s eligibility to receive government benefits.
- Care of your loved one, even when you’re not around
With a special needs trust, you can know that your loved one will be provided for and comfortable. Trust assets can be used in many ways in order to benefit your loved one and provide care such as a special trip, new television, massage, or new chair. By choosing a responsible, loving, reliable, and honest trustee, you will know that trust’s assets are in good hands. There are professional trustees who are experienced and available to assist with special needs trust administration.
If you have any questions about the use of this powerful estate planning tool, or if you’d like to create a special needs trust, consult with a qualified and estate planning attorney.