Special Needs Planning
Navigating The Complexities Of Special Needs To Protect Your Loved One
How To Leave Assets For Your Special Needs Child or Grandchild
Estate planning for a family with special needs children and grandchildren comes with a complex set of financial, social, and medical issues that some lawyers are ill-equipped to handle.
We offer a variety of estate planning tools and strategies designed to accommodate the unique circumstances presented by children and grandchildren with special needs and their families.
We can help you pass on the financial assets needed for your child or grandchild to live a rich quality of life without jeopardizing their eligibility for government benefits.
Special Needs Trusts
One “Catch-22” situation that typically arises in estate planning for those with special needs is how to leave enough money to pay for the massive amount of care and support a special needs loved one typically needs throughout their lifetime, while not disqualifying them from government benefits like Medicaid and Supplemental Social Security Income.
If you leave a large lump sum of money directly to a special needs child or grandchild, immediately there are concerns about how that might impact governmental assistance and whether your child or grandchild is capable of managing finances on their own.
Fortunately, we have an estate planning tool called a “special needs trust” designed to provide supplemental financial resources for the child or grandchild with physical or developmental disabilities without affecting their eligibility for public healthcare and income assistance benefits.
This said, the rules for such trusts are quite complicated.
For instance, funds from a special needs trust cannot be distributed directly to the disabled beneficiary and must be disbursed to a third party who is responsible for providing the goods and services your special needs child or grandchild will need to maintain a comfortable lifestyle.
Because so much is at stake, it is important to work with an experienced special needs attorney who can create a comprehensive special needs trust that is both properly structured and appropriate for your child’s, or grandchild's, specific situation.
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O'Donnell Law Center
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Osage Beach, MO 65065
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