If you are the parent or grandparent of a special needs child, then you already understand the financial costs associated with providing quality care for your child. Typically, state and federal assistance programs are an integral part of that care. As a parent it is important to create an estate plan that provides for your child should anything happen to you. If your child is a special needs child, estate planning becomes even more important to ensure that your child does not lose the services offered by programs such as Medicaid and SSI.
The special needs planning attorneys at the Mendel Law Firm, L.P. can help you incorporate special needs planning strategies into your overall estate plan to protect your child now and in the future. Contact us today by calling 281-759-3213 or by filling out our online contact form to find out how we can be of assistance.
The Danger in Gifting
Understandably, parents and other well-meaning loved ones frequently wish to leave behind assets that can be used for the care of a special needs individual. Leaving behind a gift in a Last Will & Testament, however, can create more problems than it solves. Programs such as Medicaid and SSI have income and asset limits that cannot be exceeded by participants. Even a relatively small gift in a Will can cause a participant’s assets to exceed governmental program limits, causing the individual to lose much needed assistance.
Special Needs Trusts
A special needs trust (“SNT”) allows you to designate assets to be used for the care of your special needs loved one without jeopardizing federal or state assistance benefits. A SNT, also known as a “supplemental trust,” holds assets to “supplement” the care provided by programs such as Medicaid and SSI. As long as the trust is properly drafted, assets held by the trust will not be counted when determining eligibility for assistance programs.
At the Mendel Law Firm, L.P. our special needs planning attorneys are committed to helping you provide for your special needs child both now and in the future. Creating a special needs trust gives you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one will continue to receive your financial support long after you are gone. Contact us today by calling 281-759-3213 or by filling out our online contact form to find out how we can help you.