SPECIAL NEEDS TRUSTS

Special Needs Estate Planning Attorney and Lawyer

According to the United States Census Bureau, over three million children, or 4.3% of children in the United States, suffer from a disability. If you have a special needs child, a special needs trust attorney can assist in creating an estate plan designed to provide for your child’s needs, both now and after you are gone, while preserving eligibility for vital government benefits, such as Medicaid and Social Security Income.

If you have a special needs child, meticulous estate planning is critical, as there are many unique pitfalls that can compromise government benefits. Call Plitz Estate Planning today to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced New Albany special needs trust lawyer to learn more about creating an affordable and comprehensive plan.

Issues To Consider When Estate Planning for A Special Needs Child in Indiana

Families with children, grandchildren, or other family members with special needs often have unique estate planning needs, and misconceptions regarding accommodations can quickly result in costly mistakes. If you have a special needs child or loved one, it is vital to take extra precautions to avoid the following common pitfalls that can compromise their well-being:

  • Don’t Disinherit Your Child. Many individuals are instructed to disinherit special needs loved ones to protect their eligibility for public benefits; however, a special needs trust is typically a much better (and more ethical) solution.
  • Don’t Wait To Make Accommodations For A Special Needs Loved One. Whereas beneficiaries without disabilities can obtain additional resources as they reach adulthood and begin working, special needs children typically will not have the same opportunities. For this reason, it is critical to make proactive accommodations now so you can rest assured your child will be cared for after you are gone.
  • Don’t Neglect Special Needs Planning When Estate Planning. Traditional estate plans are not designed for those with special needs and can render a beneficiary ineligible for vital government benefits. Specifically, inheriting a large sum of money can disqualify or reduce eligibility for a special needs individual from government benefits. As such, it is critical to consider the special needs of your child when developing a plan so that you can ensure they retain valuable benefits as they age.
  • Don’t Neglect to Inform Others About A Special Needs Trust. Special needs trusts allow extended family members and friends to make gifts to the trust or name the special needs trust as a beneficiary of their own assets. As an experienced New Albany special needs planning law firm, we always recommend making extended family aware of a special needs trust so they can willingly contribute.
  • Don’t Rely On Siblings To Distribute Money For the Care of A Special Needs Child. It is common for family members to rely on their other children to provide for a child with special needs from their own income or inheritances. However, this should not be a long-term solution, as many issues can arise. For example, what happens if the sibling dies or becomes incapacitated while the special needs child is still living? 

Estate planning for a special needs child can present many unique challenges, but as an experienced New Albany special needs trust attorney, I can learn about your specific circumstances and needs, discuss your estate planning options, and explain the resulting benefits.

 

Special Needs Trust FAQs

A Special Needs Trust (also referred to as a supplemental needs trust) is a type of trust designed to provide financial support to a special needs individual without adversely impacting the government benefits to which the individual may be entitled. 

The lifetime expenses associated with caring for a special needs individual can be exorbitantly expensive, making it critical to preserve a beneficiary’s eligibility for vital government benefits which may be needed to cover their lifelong care. Consequently, it is typically advisable for families with special needs children to manage the care of a child through a special needs trust instead of leaving a lump-sum inheritance, as it could compromise their ability to obtain government support.

Currently, a single individual may have no more than $2,000 in assets to receive government assistance, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”). However, assets in a trust are generally excluded by the government when determining one’s eligibility for benefits. Thus, you can fund a special needs trust now (or earmark funds through a Will or Trust that can flow to a special needs trust after you pass) without having to fear endangering your child’s future access to essential government benefits.

Call 812-578-5348 to Schedule A Free Initial Consultation With An Experienced New Albany Special Needs Trust Lawyer.

A special needs trust is a complex estate planning instrument that should be drafted only by an experienced special needs trust attorney. For over a decade, firm founding attorney Jim Plitz has helped families with special needs children create thorough and meticulous estate plans designed to preserve assets and maximize government benefits. Call today to schedule a free initial consultation to learn more about how Plitz Estate Planning can help you and your family make special accommodations for your loved one.

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Southern IN Estate Planning Lawyer James Plitz