The estate planning process can make provisions for family members with special needs. Typically, the special needs arise from a mental or physical disability that impairs their ability to take care of themselves after you are no longer able to provide and care for them.
A Special Needs Trust allows you to transfer assets into a trust for your heirs without interfering with their eligibility for government benefits, such as Medi-Cal, SSI, or disability. These programs only provide for the bare necessities, such as housing, clothing, and food. But giving assets directly to them might eliminate their benefits.
The Special Needs Trust must be carefully designed to preserve the public benefits by only supplementing those benefits, not replacing them. Additionally, the funds must be dispersed directly to the third parties who provide the supplemental goods and services to your loved one.
The Special Needs Trust can provide a variety of life-enhancing benefits without compromising their public benefits, such as:
- Personal attendant or escort to provide personalized care
- Cover out-of-pocket medical and dental expenses
- Supplemental education and tutoring
- Transportation and maintenance of vehicles
- General entertainment, such as movies, sporting events, or home entertainment sets
- Participation in sporting events
- Hobby or recreational activities
- Trips and vacations
- Special dietary requirements
Special Needs Trusts are a critical part of estate planning where one or more beneficiaries are disabled. They can stand alone from other estate planning devises or be created as a sub-trust to your primary trust. Life insurance can also be used to fund a Special Needs Trust far beyond the assets you initially place in the trust itself.
Contact Yeager Law regarding any comments, questions, or concerns relating to Special Need Planning.