Special Needs Planning

What It Is

You or your loved one may be an individual with special needs.  If you are caring for a minor or adult disabled son or daughter, you understand that doing so is both a privilege and a tremendous responsibility.  Your child or loved one may rely heavily on you.  What happens when you pass away?  How can you make sure your child will be cared for – medically and financially – until the end of his or her life?

Special needs planning allows you to make decisions that will protect and ensure your loved one’s continued well-being.  This includes coordinating government benefits (such as Medicaid or Supplemental Social Security Income) with any assets you leave them, protecting their income from financial predators, and making sure funds are used in the way you believe is best for them.

How It Works

Settlement planning and estate planning for an individual with special needs is a highly specialized area, which may include the use of a Special or Supplemental Needs Trust.  Special Needs Trusts and Supplemental Needs Trusts serve one primary purpose – to ensure that the beneficiary continues to qualify for government benefits.  Because these trusts are highly regulated, it is important that they be drafted by an attorney who is highly knowledgeable of all the intricacies of the law.  Below you can find more information about each type of trust.

Special Needs Trust

If you are a person with a disability, the Special Needs Trust benefits you by protecting assets within the trust and allowing the trustee to distribute the trust funds for goods and services that are not covered by public benefit programs.  A Special Needs Trust is funded with assets which legally belong to the individual with a disability.  Examples include education, special medical procedures and equipment, entertainment, and travel.  This type of trust serves to enhance quality of life.

Supplemental Needs Trust

A Supplemental Needs Trust, sometimes called a “third-party trust” or a “non-payback trust,” is funded by someone other than the individual with a disability and is available to pay for lifetime needs.  Upon death, the remaining funds are distributed as directed by the trust document, with no requirement to pay the government back for benefits received.

How It Helps You

Special needs planning can ensure that a settlement, award, inheritance, or a gift is available for the beneficiary without causing them to lose their benefits.  Special needs planning can also bring you peace of mind in knowing that your disabled loved one will be taken care of once you pass away.  Our attorneys have more than 30 years of experience drafting Special Needs Trusts and Supplemental Needs Trusts that protect the future of disabled loved ones.

Call us today at (952) 925-4147 or send us a quick email to learn more about our special needs planning services.