A disabled loved one presents not only a host of challenges, but also a range of opportunities to maximize his or her quality of life. In fact, proper planning can enable independent living, social and cultural enjoyment, certain forms of medical treatment, and other critical factors, when you are not there to provide for them yourself.
Special Needs Trusts:
Planning for the special needs of a disabled child or grandchild begins at birth, not at adulthood, because upon your death any estate distribution can displace public assistance benefits and be lost. Do-it-yourself planning, like leaving assets to another family member who will “look out for” the disabled family member, can fail if the other family member gets sued or divorced, applies for college financial aid, or requires long term care later in life. We counsel clients regarding Special Needs Trusts to truly ensure that funds will be available for vulnerable loved ones, and regarding trustee selection to ensure proper management for the duration.
Serving as trustee of a Special Needs Trust is a noble undertaking, because you have both the responsibility of providing for the needs of a vulnerable loved one and the ability to make a profound difference in his or her life. We represent trustees in understanding proper and improper uses of trust funds, impacts on public assistance eligibility, proper accounting of funds, trustee powers, and coordination with support services. With proper counsel, you can avoid disqualifying the beneficiary for public assistance, maximize the effectiveness of trust funds, and enable the highest quality of life for your beneficiary.