As the parent of a child with special needs you work hard to provide your child with an exceptional quality of life. That likely entails spending considerable time and resources to ensure that your child’s physical and emotional needs are met. You want to know that financial support will continue if you are not here to provide it. Leaving assets directly to your child, however, could jeopardize much-needed government assistance. At Stivers Law, our experienced special needs planning attorneys can help you incorporate special needs planning into your comprehensive estate plan to make sure your child is protected.
Why Is Special Needs Planning Necessary?
Your special needs child can grow up to live a happy and relatively independent life, thanks in large part to advances in science and medicine that make that possible. Nevertheless, your child may continue to need specialized therapeutic and medical care for life – and that care is costly. If you plan to continue providing financial support to when your child reaches adulthood, careful planning is crucial. Money or other assets gifted to your child will be considered when determining eligibility for state and federal assistance programs such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and housing assistance and may cause your child to lose eligibility. Special needs planning focuses on incorporating legal tools and strategies into your overall estate plan so that you can continue to provide financial support without your child losing much-needed benefits.
What Is Special Needs Planning?
It is possible to provide continued financial support to your child with special needs without jeopardizing eligibility for state and federal assistance programs. To do so, however, you must incorporate Special Needs Planning into your overall estate plan. For many parents, that means creating a special kind of trust, known as a Special Needs Trust, that protects assets intended for your child’s support and maintenance. It also ensures that the money or assets held in the trust are only used to help supplement the assistance your child receives from government programs. A properly drafted Special Needs Trust will allow you to continue to provide financial support to your child without the loss of crucial government assistance benefits.
The special needs planning attorneys at Stivers Law can help you incorporate special needs planning into your comprehensive estate plan. Contact our office today by calling (305) 456-3255 or filling out our online contact form.