When you engage in estate planning, a major goal is often to provide for your children after you are gone. If you have a child with special needs, you understand that your child may need financial support for the rest of their life. Additionally, a child who needs medical care and other specialized treatment may incur substantial expenses. A special needs trust attorney at Rubin Law can be critical to helping you determine the best and most effective means of providing the financial care and support your child needs.
Children with Special Needs and Eligibility for Public Benefits
Children and adults with special needs often rely on various public benefits to assist them with their medical care and other needs. For instance, many individuals receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, which provide monthly cash assistance for disabled individuals. Medicaid provides medical insurance coverage for disabled children and adults and waiver services designed to assist eligible individuals to remain living in their communities.
However, eligibility for SSI, Medicaid, and similar public benefits is often dependent on household income and resources. In other words, benefit recipients must meet certain income and asset limits, or they will lose eligibility for those benefits. Therefore, if these children or adults inherit even small amounts of money, their inheritance could jeopardize their eligibility for these benefits. An inheritance could thus have disastrous effects if not properly handled.
Regular Estate Planning May Not Meet Your Child’s Needs
Regular estate planning techniques are likely insufficient or inadequate to address these important benefits eligibility issues. Accordingly, an estate planning attorney may not necessarily have the knowledge or experience to consider these needs. Without an Illinois special needs trust lawyer on your side, you may end up with an estate plan that is completely ineffective for your child with special needs and, even worse, endangers their eligibility for much-needed public benefits.
Understanding the Special Needs Trust
Establishing a special needs trust is one common mechanism to avoid problems with benefits ineligibility while still allowing parents to financially provide for their children with special needs after their deaths. Different types of special needs trusts exist, but for the purposes of estate planning, a third-party special needs trust is the most common type of trust set up to receive an inheritance for a person with special needs.
The third-party special needs trust can be set up independently as a stand-alone trust. Alternatively, the special needs trust can be created as a testamentary trust under your will to be funded by your estate following your death. Whichever option you choose, the special needs trust allows you to safeguard your inheritance for your child with special needs without subjecting them to the potential loss of public benefits.
Special needs trusts can be complex, and special needs trust attorneys must completely understand all available alternatives under the law to address your situation properly. Most estate planning attorneys may have only encountered special needs trusts a few times before. Therefore, if you want to ensure that you can provide financial support to your child through inheritance and safeguard public benefits eligibility, you will need an attorney who regularly handles special needs trusts.
As important as establishing a well drafted special needs trust, is having an attorney who can help the family navigate the maze of services and programs that might serve their child for the rest of their life. Only an attorney who practices exclusively in this area is likely to have the knowledge and expertise to provide this service.
Contact Us Today to Learn More About Our Legal Services
Rubin Law is the only Illinois law firm to dedicate itself exclusively to providing compassionate legal services for children and adults with special needs. We offer unique legal and future planning techniques to meet your family’s individual needs.
Call us today at 866-TO-RUBIN or email us at email@example.com to learn more about the services we can offer you and your family.