Families who have children with special needs, whether minors or adults, must take care in developing their estate plans. These families must take certain steps to properly protect and provide for those children during the special needs estate planning process.
Having a law firm on your side who truly understands the nuances and laws that affect individuals with special needs and the benefits that they may receive can be crucial to a successful estate plan. If your goal is to create an estate plan that will enhance and support your child with special needs, you can rely on the special needs estate planning attorneys of Rubin Law to help. Contact us by calling 866-TO-RUBIN and setting up a time to speak with us about your family’s estate planning needs.
Understanding the Goals of Special Needs Estate Planning
While many parents want their estate plans to operate as financial support for their children, parents of children with special needs often have more specific goals. They also have unique considerations that may not be relevant to most families during the estate planning process. For example, the parents of special needs children often have the following goals in mind as they create their estate plans:
- Money management for the lifetime of their special needs child
- Protection of the child’s entitlement to public benefits
- Provisions of funds to enhance existing public benefits or substitute for them if those benefits should become unavailable
By keeping these critical goals in mind, we can help you create the estate plan that best suits the needs of you and your family.
Special Needs Trusts
The third-party special needs trust is a commonly used special needs estate planning tool for families. Parents often use these trusts to leave an inheritance for their children, as they may be one of the best vehicles for fulfilling the children’s needs after their parents’ deaths.
Maintaining Eligibility for Public Benefits
These trusts allow parents to save funds or assets for their children without endangering their eligibility for various public benefits programs. In addition, since the children with special needs have no direct access to the trust assets, they can continue to receive needs-based public benefits with no eligibility concerns.
Ensuring Financial Management of Assets
Furthermore, special needs trusts are useful if children with special needs cannot manage their finances. A trustee manages the trust assets and controls the spending or usage of any trust assets. This safeguard ensures that the children have proper financial management after their parents’ deaths.
No Required Medicaid “Payback” Provision
Another advantage of the third-party special needs trust is that it need not contain a “payback” provision for Medicaid benefits upon the beneficiary’s death. This benefit can allow more generous and flexible distributions to the child with special needs during their lifetime.
A third-party special needs trust often will result in some taxable income to the individual with special needs as distributions are made. A careful analysis of the
trust assets and each individual’s situation is necessary to determine how to minimize the individual’s tax liability. The trust can pay any tax liability out of trust assets.
Call Rubin Law Today for Assistance with Special Needs Estate Planning
Rubin Law prides itself on being the only Illinois law firm dedicated exclusively to providing compassionate special needs estate planning and other legal services for children and adults with special needs. In addition, we offer unique legal and future planning techniques designed to meet your family’s individual needs.