Many families incorporate Special Needs Trusts, especially if there’s a member who has a disability. While including it in an estate plan is common, others have a standalone document in place to provide further protections for loved ones. This week, we explore the versatility of Special Needs Trusts.
Because these can be quite intricate, an Ohio estate planning lawyer is the first best call to make. They serve an important purpose and putting your faith into a “fill in the blanks” form found online can leave you and your loved one vulnerable. The laws change and the rules are specific. Take the time to ensure it’s done right the first time.
The Versatility of Special Needs Trusts
These trusts allow other family members to add to it. “Gifting” is allowed by relatives, either as part of another’s Will or a scheduled deposit over the years. Also, planning now can help prevent problems in the future if it looks as though government benefits might be in jeopardy.
These Trusts are also ideal for holding life insurance policies, especially after both parents have died. If your estate is especially large, it’s a good way to reduce any kind of tax liabilities you may face.
Don’t assume your child has to be 18 before you define the trust. You can set it up at any time before then, provided there’s a need.
Repercussions of Not Planning
Planning is crucial, otherwise you might jeopardize any benefits your loved one might be entitled to and there could leave other vulnerabilities, such as potential lawsuits. The difference in a well-planned Special Needs Trust and one that’s put together as an afterthought, can be huge in the quality of life the beneficiary experiences. It’s always better to plan ahead so that you can offset any potential unseen problems.
The Right Lawyer
The reality is one small mistake can mean big problems down the line – and often, they’re not easy to reverse. By having proper legal representation, you’re already a step ahead and the peace of mind that comes with that is priceless. The sooner you put these in place, the sooner you can build a relationship built on trust in case you’re not around to keep the bases covered. It’s about creating a complete and accurate dynamic that stands the test of time and is flexible enough to ebb and flow with changes in the laws. Finding an attorney who can set up the benefits for SSI, Medicaid, potential vocational rehabilitation, housing and any other benefits that may be available is important.
The law has recognized the special needs trust since the mid-1990s. It put into place the specifics of what could and could not be included. The same goes for Medicaid coverage as well. Medicaid has specific guidelines and the attorney you’ve chosen to oversee the special needs trust must understand those guidelines and ensure compliance.
Everything from housing and food to making necessary changes to a disabled person’s home is addressed under these rules. If the attorney you’re speaking with can’t differentiate between those legalities, you’re leaving your loved one compromised.
Contact us today to learn more about the affordability of special needs trusts and allow us to show you what commitment and ethics can mean for your loved one’s future.