Posted by Dana Law Group on April 21, 2021
Planning your estate properly is even more important if you intend to leave assets to someone with special needs. Doing so without using a special needs trust can hurt the person in ways that you do not intend. It can make them ineligible for Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid, to begin, in addition to other financial and legal perils.
To make sure that your loved ones will receive the assets and benefits that you would like them to have after your passing, make sure that you work with a qualified attorney when planning your living will and testament. Doing so will ensure that there are no loopholes that can be exploited following your death.
In order to set up a trust, you need to select a person who will be in control of the assets devoted to that trust. A special needs trust allows you to choose someone to be in charge of how your assets will be distributed to your loved one. This can be in the form of paying for services, property, or other items that the person will special needs will require.
The trust protects your loved one because it prohibits the trustee from simply handing over money or assets directly. If your assets were delivered in that manner, it could threaten your loved one’s ability to continue collecting SSI benefits or to remain enrolled in Medicaid. The selected trustee would make purchases on your loved one’s behalf instead. For this reason, selecting a trustee that you know will carry out your intentions is important.
Even if you have set up a special needs trust, you do need a will to make sure that your loved ones receive whatever assets you intended for them. Many people are unaware of just how important it is to make sure that their wills are set up properly and the potentially disastrous impact of not doing so. It is also important to determine what must happen in the event that your trustee is unable to fulfill his or her duties due to an unexpected death, illness, or disaster.
The worst possible outcome for someone with special needs is having to seek legal counsel to access the assets you intended for him or her to receive. Making sure that your will is set up by a qualified attorney will reduce the chance of legal disputes and the need to involve the courts following your death.
Dana Law Group specializes in estate planning and estate law. We serve clients throughout Arizona, with offices serving Chandler, Mesa, Sun City, Avondale, Phoenix, Tuscon, Prescott, Scottsdale, and Payson. We offer free consultations so that you can learn how we will be able to address tax reduction and planning, funding your trusts, and making sure that your assets are distributed the way that you intend for them to be. Give us a call at 480-924-4557 today.