If you have a loved one who is getting older or has special needs, then you’re probably worried about what their future will look like without you there to help care for them. This is a valid concern, and one that you shouldn’t let go unaddressed for too long. If you procrastinate, then you run the risk of your assets not providing them with the help that you hope.
Therefore, you should be as proactive as possible in creating an estate plan that suits your needs as well as the needs of your loved one. One of the best way to do this is to create a special needs trust. This estate planning vehicle allows you to put assets away for your loved one’s use while also shielding those assets from creditors. Additionally, assets that are placed in a special needs trust and utilized by your loved one don’t count toward income limitations for government programs. Therefore, these assets can provide additional support to your loved one without having any affect on their ability to qualify for Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security disability, or Supplemental Security Income.
There are some restrictions on these kinds of trusts to be aware of. Perhaps the biggest is how trust assets can be used. Generally speaking, these assets should be used to cover medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and transportation. There are other permissible uses, too. You can consult with your attorney to get a clearer sense of the uses to which these trust assets can be put.
Many people find that a special needs trust is perfect for their situation because it provides protected assets to a person who really needs it, while maintaining their loved one’s public benefits. Additionally, most individuals are happy knowing that these assets will be put toward their intended use.
However, to best ensure that your loved one receives the protection you want from this kind of trust, you need to make sure that it is created in a legally enforceable fashion. This is why it might be best for you to discuss this type of trust with an attorney of your choosing so that you can work to draft your estate plan in a way that suits your vision for the future.