Special needs is the term we use today for a loved one with mental or physical disabilities. The caregiver contemplates what may happen when she or he is no longer able to serve this loved one. You can make provisions in an estate plan or will to bequeath assets to this person upon your passing. But, such a bequest may prevent this person from qualifying for government benefit programs.
Fortunately, the government has established rules allowing assets of a disabled individual to be held in trust, called a Special Needs Trust or Supplemental Needs Trust without disqualification from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Medicaid, as long as certain requirements are met. These types of trusts allow you to provide the resources that would allow your loved one to enjoy a richer quality of life.
A special needs trust holds assets for a disabled person. Such a trust provides funds for purchases above and beyond basic needs. This type of trust can also be established by the disabled person and structured to fit an individual situation. At the disabled person’s death, assets in the trust can be left to anyone or go toward repaying government benefits.
Family members with special needs - young and old, rich or poor - have rights and interests that can be protected. We help set up special needs trusts to accomplish specific goals and to preserve government benefit eligibility. Funds from such trusts cannot be distributed directly to the disabled person. Funds must be disbursed to third parties who provide goods and services to the disabled beneficiary. They can be stand-alone trusts, funded with separate assets, or structured as sub-trusts of living trusts.
Our special needs planning attorneys can help you set up a Special Needs Trust that is designed specifically to supplement public benefits. Special Needs Trusts are a critical component of an estate plan when you have disabled beneficiaries for whom you wish to provide when you are gone.
Reach Out to Us
With just a little planning, you can get on the road to protecting your disabled loved one, so you can relax with peace of mind about what will happen should you become incapacitated or pass away. Call us today at 205-663-0281 for a free consultation if you want to know more about the Special Needs Trust. John Holliman and Melanie Bradford Holliman will help you so you can take care of your nest egg and your loved ones. We treat you like family.
Let us help you create a Special Needs Trust for your disabled loved one that includes the steps necessary to get you and your loved ones from today to the future as smoothly as possible. Contact us for a free consultation.
Christine Graham and Betty Blalock, Paralegals, with Melanie Bradford Holliman, Attorney
Golden Years in Alabama - Host Ryan Robnett interviews Melanie B. Holliman - May 2017