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Principled Advocacy For Families And Individuals With Disabilities And The Professionals Who Serve Them

3 tips for special needs planning

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2023 | Estate Planning

If you have a loved one living with a disability, special needs planning ensures their needs are met when you become incapacitated or die. Including their inheritance or funds with those of other beneficiaries may lead to unfairness.

For this reason, you should include a special needs trust in your estate plan. Here are three tips to consider when creating it.

Don’t disinherit a beneficiary with special needs

The chances are your loved one receives government benefits, and you may have heard that having assets may make them lose these benefits. However, this should not necessarily make you disinherit them, as most public benefits only provide basic needs. Thus, it may be best to supplement their income with an inheritance.

Further, creating a special needs trust with professional guidance may protect your loved one from being ineligible for government benefits.

Choose a reliable trustee

A trustee will administer the trust you set for your loved one. They should use the funds carefully, for instance, to only pay for financial and medical needs not covered by government programs.

Thus, you need to choose a reliable trustee – one who understands government benefits rules and tax obligations, among others. Professional trustees are well informed of these duties, but a family member may also be trained to understand them.

Fund the trust sufficiently

You should be fair when distributing assets among beneficiaries, especially your children. However, a loved one with a disability may need more to cover all their needs. Consider getting legal help to know the expenses this trust can cover to estimate the best amount to put in it.

A family member with a disability or a mental illness should be covered in your estate plan. Learn more about your case to create a protective plan for them.