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Avoid These Mistakes When Planning for Your Special Needs Beneficiary

July 31, 2018

Filed under: Special Needs — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Do you have someone in your life who could be classified as a special needs beneficiary? If so, it is even more important that you have a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer to help you with this process. Planning for a loved one with special needs requires advanced consideration of how your many decisions might affect them in the future.

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First of all, avoid disinheriting a special needs beneficiary. Plenty of disabled individuals get public benefits to pay for their basic needs like medical care, shelter, and food. Some families have been told mistakenly to disinherit a person with special needs in order to preserve their entitlement to benefits, and to instead give that portion to a sibling to use for the disabled person’s needs. But if the sibling passes away or becomes incapacitated, then the support is not available to help the special needs child.

Putting together a special needs trust helps to guard against this problem. Procrastinating when it comes to planning for a special needs child can be extremely expensive. Families must plan early and use a special needs trust that is appropriately funded. If this does not happen, the inherited assets could be required to repay the estate for assistance provided when assets that are inherited out disqualify a beneficiary from getting needed benefits.

Finally, never ignore the special needs of that beneficiary when conducting the planning process. An appropriately designed special needs trust gives happiness and comfort for a special needs beneficiary while ensuring that they maintain their eligibility for benefits.

An appropriately funded trust can help to pay for education expenses, medical costs and necessary equipment. Furthermore, the trust can also be used to make this special needs child’s life more comfortable, including quality of life-enhancing expenses like those typically provided by parents.  Selecting a trustee wisely is even more important when establishing a special needs trust since this person will have important responsibilities.


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