If you are like most parents or caregivers of a disabled family member, you understand the importance of ensuring your child is cared for in the best way possible – even after you’re gone. Parents of any child share these concerns, but when your child has special needs this important concern is only magnified.
It’s vital that as the parent or caregiver of a disabled child or adult, you know you have unique options available to you. One of the most common planning tools at your disposal is a Special Needs Trust. A Special Needs Trust, sometimes referred to as a Supplemental Needs Trust, should be designed by an experienced attorney to protect assets and benefits for your disabled family member. If you’re wondering whether or not this type of trust would benefit your unique family situation, please keep reading.
3 Major Reasons To Consider A Special Needs Trust
#1: Protecting Governmental Benefits
Oftentimes the cost of caring for a special needs family member can be supplemented by governmental benefits. Unassuming family members may list their special needs person as a beneficiary to inherit assets after they are gone, not knowing this inheritance will actually disqualify their family member from receiving any additional benefits. These types of government benefits have an income and asset limit that can easily be exceeded by an inheritance or insurance settlement.
A Special Needs Trust is specially designed to protect those governmental benefits your loved one so desperately needs, while also ensuring they can benefit from the protected assets you leave behind. It is important to work with an estate planning attorney who has experience creating these types of trusts to be sure the benefits and your loved one’s inheritance are both protected – and your loved ones can access these funds as quickly as possible
#2: Ensuring Care & Standards of Living
This is arguably the most common reason a family chooses to create a Special Needs Trust for their loved one. Not only does creating a trust ensure those assets are preserved, you can also add direct language to the trust noting how the funds are to be used. You can be sure your loved one continues to receive care the way you intended but also their standard of living and quality of life can go on as familiar and comfortably as possible. Let’s face it. You know what’s best for your special needs family member, and you want to know your instructions are passed on accordingly.
#3: Designating Someone You Trust
Any type of trust that you create, will allow you to designate the person you trust to be in charge in the event you are no longer able to do so. If you are caring for a loved one with special needs, you want to be certain their lives are not left up to chance when you are gone. You want to know they are in the hands of someone you trust, not just someone appointed by a judge. Your special needs trust will ensure the person you have the most confidence in will be responsible for managing your disabled loved one’s affairs.
Is a Special Needs Trust For You?
If you are the parent or caregiver of a disabled family member and want to ensure they are taken care of after you’re no longer able to do so, you may want to consider a special needs trust. The first step would be for you to contact an estate planning law firm, like Mannor Law Group. Mannor Law Group not only has 20 years of experience specializing in trusts, wills, and powers of attorney, they also have ample experience creating and executing Special Needs Trusts.
If you are in Mid-Michigan, please contact our office to see if this type of planning is for you.