Planning for the Future is Essential for Special Needs Families
September 23, 2010
If you have a special needs child, parent, or sibling then you know that planning for the future can be overwhelming under the best of circumstances; which is why so many parents and caretakers tend to live for today, while planning for tomorrow is always put off until… well, until tomorrow. But if planning and caring for your loved one is this difficult for you, can you imagine how difficult it would be for a friend or guardian if something were to happen to you? For this reason, the importance of planning for the care of your special needs loved one cannot be overstated.
Getting started with your planning can feel like climbing Mt. Everest at first, especially if you’re trying to navigate through government programs and federal financial aid. But as overwhelming as it can be in the beginning, with the right advisors the planning process can and should be a relieving and beneficial experience for all. The following article from CNN Money gives a few tips on how—and why—to begin planning for your special needs loved one.
If you would like to have a secure plan for the future but aren’t sure where to begin, perhaps the best way to start is to find an attorney in your area who specializes in Special Needs planning. The laws and requirements for government aid will vary from state to state, but more importantly, there is no substitute for a knowledgeable expert who will listen to your family’s unique story and help you blaze securely into the future. Click here for more on Special Needs Planning.
Helping the Special People in Your Life: The Special Needs Trust
August 20, 2009
Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles often come into our offices to make estate plans, and one of the questions they ask is how they can support the people in their lives who have special needs. Special needs can include anything from Autism or Down Syndrome to Paralysis or blindness, and everything in between. These special needs family members may be receiving public benefits, such as SSI or Medi-Cal. Leaving money directly to them in a Will or Trust would, in most cases, bounce them off of such public benefits. A much better approach is to leave them a bequest in a way that will allow your special person to enjoy BOTH the public benefits upon which they rely AND your bequest. The way to do this is by leaving your gift in a Special Needs Trust.
Special needs trusts are not yet well-known, but they are gaining attention among attorneys, financial advisors, and in the mainstream media. They are permitted by both federal and state law, and recognize the need for families to “partnership” with government to improve the quality of life for the disabled. For Questions and Answers, and more information, visit our site at “Special Needs Planning”.
A Special Needs Trust can be useful for children or for disabled adults. It is a far better alternative than cutting your special person entirely out of your Will or Trust, simply to avoid jeopardizing their SSI or Medi-Cal benefits.
A special needs trust can mean the difference between living an enriched life and barely getting by. If you have someone in your life with special needs, inquire about a special needs trust as a way to leave an inheritance. It could make a world of difference.