Learning about Special Needs Estate Planning
There are numerous trusts that are available to help with the planning process. Two of the most well-known are Special Needs Trusts and Support Trusts.
When Support Trusts are used, the Trustee is required to distribute support items such as shelter, food, medical care, clothing and education on behalf of the child. Beneficiaries who are set up under Support Trusts are not allowed to get financial aid via Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid. This is why Support Trusts are not recommended for children who qualify for either SSI or Medicaid.
Normally Special Needs Trusts are more popular with most parents. This is because the trustee can distribute regular support items to the beneficiary, and manage the child’s public assistance entitlements too.
The Two Kinds of Special Needs Trusts:
Third-Party Special Needs Trust: This type of trust is created when parents use their assets as a part of the plan. The assets are then doled out via a Living Trust or Will.
Self-Settled Special Needs Trust: This type of trust is created by a grandparent, parent or legal guardian. The beneficiary or child’s assets are used to create the trust. The assets are usually the result of money received in a lawsuit to take care of the child for life. The state gets a payback after the child’s death based upon the amount of received public assistance benefits.
Special Needs Trusts are essential if you have a disabled loved one who will need assistance once you’ve passed on. They can can be stand-along trusts, funded with other assets or sub-trusts of living trusts.
You will find many helpful resources to help with the planning process. Start with the Special Needs Estate Planning Online Resource Center. You will need to perform a lot of research so that you can become knowledgeable. This involves learning and keeping informed about updated legal, financial, medical and other trust related information. Redkey Gordon Law Corporation can help if you need additional help. Hopefully, this resource guides you during the planning stages.
Social Security Resources – This includes a listing of available benefits for children that have special needs. It also has a screening tool that determines if your child is eligible for certain benefits.
Handbook for Trustees – A Special needs trust can be one of the best ways to take care of a family member that has special needs. It can provide for things such as entertainment, medical care, dental care, therapy, respite care and social functions. All of these things are possible, and it will not tap into the beneficiary’s SSI or Medicaid benefits. Although this type of trust is very flexible, it can also be very hard to understand. The Handbook for Trustees has tips and instructions on how to make things easier.
Exceptional Parent online – This resource is helpful for those who interact with people with special needs on a regular basis. It has information for family members, physicians, teachers, caregivers and health care professionals.
The Arc – This is an organization that was created by and for people who have developmental and mental disabilities. It strives to improve services designed for disabled people and their support system. It gets involved with education and research so that disabilities can be prevented in the future. It is especially devoted to helping young children and infants.
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys – This is a non-profit that helps lawyers and anyone who deals with elderly people and their loved ones. It offers information and networking opportunities to those who need guidance about specialized issues that may pertain to the disabled elderly.
National Alliance on Mental Illness – This organization strives to improve the lifestyle of those dealing with mental illness. This extends to their families as well. Each state has a NAMI, and this includes various large communities throughout the country.
Center for Parent Information and Resources – This organization helps parents that have children with special needs. Use this interactive map to find the PTI or CPRC that serves your State or territory.
Annual Disability Statistics Compendium – This publication provides federally published statistics that are given for each state.