You may hear the term “special needs” and automatically think of children. However, there are many families that have a young adult or even an older relative with mental or physical disabilities that fall under the category of special needs.
Those who have special needs may be able to qualify for some government benefits, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This often makes planning for beneficiaries who have special needs challenging. For example, you may want to use the assets you have to provide these individuals with financial security; however, you don’t want to leave your loved one in a position that may jeopardize their ability to receive the government benefits they rely on.
The good news is, there are some tips you can use to help you plan for your special need’s family members.
Don’t Wait to Make Plans
It is never too early to create your estate plan. However, when planning for special needs individuals, it may be too late before you know it.
When special needs are not being considered, failure to create an estate plan may create some challenges for your family, but it probably isn’t the end of the world. Non-special needs children can often get scholarships or loans for school, and they will likely be able to support themselves eventually. And if you pass away without an estate plan, the laws of intestacy will still provide your children with an inheritance.
However, people planning for special needs individuals may not be able to rely on the individual going to school or becoming self-supportive. And if the special needs individual receives a sizeable inheritance from a parent that failed to plan properly, any governmental benefits they receive could be seriously jeopardized.
Don’t Disinherit a Loved One Who Has Special Needs
There are some families who have been advised by friends or someone else that they should disinherit their loved one who has special needs to make sure they can qualify for benefits. This is not a good idea.
When you plan properly, including the use of special needs trusts, those with special needs can get the benefits they need while still receiving the inheritance you have left them. Since most of the government benefits available usually address only the most basic needs, most special needs individuals are going to need more than just these benefits to have a decent quality of life.
With the help of an estate planning attorney, you can create a plan that is going to help you maximize the benefits your loved one has access to, without depriving them of the inheritance you want to leave them.
Creating the Right Estate Plan is Crucial
As you can see, planning now for your family member with special needs is the best thing you can do. It will ensure your assets are distributed in a way that can help them even after you are gone. Call The KC Estate Planner, LLC, today to find out what you can do for your family member with special needs.