Top Ten Reasons to Plan Your Estate Now – Number Three

Mother with special needs son in wheelchair

If you have a special needs child, do you have a plan in place that will allow your child to receive government assistance if something were to happen to you? Or would your child inherit assets that would disqualify him or her from receiving government assistance?

Special Needs Trusts are instruments used by parents of special needs children, which allow parents to provide for their special needs children while preserving the family’s assets.  When properly set up, Special Needs Trusts allow special needs children to receive public assistance for medical care and basic needs, while providing funds for special or supplemental needs not covered by government benefits.  Such special or supplemental needs include, but are not limited to, transportation, companionship, and private nurses.

Without a Special Needs Trust, special needs children who inherit estates valued at over $ 2,000.00 will be disqualified from receiving Social Security and Medicaid benefits. Only when a special needs child’s inheritance has been exhausted to $ 2,000.00 will the child qualify for government assistance.

Without a plan in place, certain financial actions taken on behalf of your child in your absence may affect your child’s qualification for government assistance programs while depleting your child’s inheritance.  However, putting a plan in place now will allow you to provide for your child’s special or supplemental needs and preserve your child’s inheritance, without jeopardizing his or her eligibility for government benefits based on financial need.