Families who have a loved one with special needs know how important it is to have a plan for their care for the rest of their lives. People with special needs often qualify for government support such as Social Security Disability or Medicaid. Government support is able to meet their basic needs for people who have cognitive or physical disabilities. Many times, these benefits are awarded based on a person’s financial need and the recipient could lose their benefits if their financial situation changes, such as when they receive an inheritance. This is why it is important to keep public benefits in mind when planning for their loved one’s future.
One way for a family to make sure their special needs child continues to qualify for government assistance while making sure they are taken care of for the rest of their lives is by establishing a special needs trust. A special needs trust can be used to enhance the beneficiary’s quality of life without jeopardizing their government benefits. While government assistance can pay for food, housing, and medical care, funds in a special needs trust can cover things like:
- Out-of-pocket medical expenses
- Personal care attendant
- Special education programs
- State of the art wheelchair or other assistive technology
- Medical transportation
- Communication aides
- Funding travel, entertainment and other life-enhancing activities
A legal professional who is skilled in estate planning can help their client understand the different special needs trusts, help them establish a trust to protect their assets, and also make sure their child will still qualify for government benefits. They will ensure their client’s trust is customized to their needs and goals in life and in death.