Establishing your estate plan when you have a special needs child requires additional steps, but ones that will help you take care of your child now and in the future. If your disabled child inherits money from you or another relative, there are ways to ensure the money is used for their care without interfering with governmental aid.
Special needs planning works to preserve public benefits for the disabled child while supplementing and enhancing the quality of the child’s life.
– The Voice: Estate Planning for Families with Special Needs Children
Having a disabled child presents new challenges for you. You have worked hard to establish governmental help such as SSI or Medicaid, and an influx of money may disrupt that. Many governmental assistance programs are based on monetary needs. If your child receives a large amount of money or assets, that may put them above the income requirements for aid.
That is why establishing a special needs trust is essential.
When set up correctly, a special needs trust will work with the public aid in providing for your child. If your child’s grandparents passed away, leaving a large sum of money, it is best to put the money directly into the trust. This allows you or the trustee to continue assisting your child to live a fulfilling life without worrying about losing their financial aid.
This type of trust works because the money and assets are not in the child’s name. Instead, they are held in the name of the trust and distributed to your child by a trustee. If your child is not able to handle finances on their own, the trust and trustee can help with:
A special needs trust can help your child live an independent life now and when you are gone. You are probably the child’s trustee now, but you must take special consideration when choosing one after you pass away. The trustee must be someone you believe in completely and will care for your child with the love and tenderness that you have. The trustee does not have to be a family member. Instead, it could be an attorney, a non-profit organization familiar with special needs trusts, or a financial institution.
As you can see, working closely with an estate planning attorney who excels at special needs trusts is important. Having someone who understands your situation and knows how to establish a trust that will work best for your family will give your child the life they deserve.
Do you have a disabled child who is inheriting money? Contact us today at the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835. Our experienced attorneys understand applicable laws and can advise you on the best options to protect your loved ones.
Areas we serve: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties.