Can I Leave Money to My Special Needs Grandchild?

  • Illinois Probate Law
can i leave my money to my special needs grandchild estate and probate legal group

Planning for the future of children with special needs is a unique situation. As a grandparent, it’s wonderful that you want to ensure the care of our grandchild is continued after you pass. Yes, you can leave money to your special needs grandchild – but the real question is, should you do so? There are many financial pitfalls when you leave money directly to a person with special needs, particularly loss of services and taxes.

Instead, an estate planning attorney can help you establish a Special Needs Trust.

What Is A Special Needs Trust?

A special needs trust consists of three people. You, the trustor, give another party, the trustee, the right to hold property or assets for your grandchild, the beneficiary. A special needs trust is explicitly designed to assign someone to manage the money and supplemental needs of your disabled grandchild, allowing them to keep any public benefits and have someone watch over their money.

If the money was given directly to your grandchild 2 things may happen:

  • They may not understand how to properly handle the finances, misdirect money, and leave unpaid bills.
  • They may lose government benefits that are usually based on the financial needs of the individual. A windfall of money may look as if they no longer need government assistance.

Before you sit down with your estate planning attorney, you will want to decide who you will name as the trustee. This is someone you know and will have a relationship with your disabled grandchild. Someone who cares for the child and wants the best for them, or you can assign a professional trustee. This is a huge responsibility and a decision that cannot be made lightly.

A special needs trust can be a vital part of your estate plan, especially if you have a disabled grandchild and want to ensure they are taken care of after you are gone.

DuPage and Cook County Will and Trusts Attorney

Do you have questions about setting up a special needs trust? Choosing a trustee is an important decision to be sure your estate and assets are distributed according to your wishes. To schedule a consultation with the experienced will and special needs trust attorneys at  Estate and Probate Legal Group, call us at 630-864-5835.

AREAS WE SERVE: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties