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Why Do You Need a Special Needs Trust?

Posted by on Apr 9, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

In honor of Autism Awareness Month, the Law Office of Rebecca Geller is offering a 15% discount to new clients interested in creating a Special Needs Trust.  A Special Needs Trust is an important legal tool for families with a child or loved one who receives public benefits to help with special needs.

What is Special Needs Trust?  

A special needs trust is a legal tool that allows you to provide for a loved one with a disability who requires long-term medical or support needs.  You can create such a trust now, or, through your will, you can direct that the trust be created with some or all of the assets in your estate.

Why do I need a Special Needs Trust?

Regardless of your loved one’s age, you should ensure that you leave assets in a way that does not affect his or her eligibility for government benefits.  If a person dies without a will or leaves assets directly to a relative/child with special needs and that relative orchild with special needs receives more than $2,000, most government benefits will be lost.  Therefore, you should leave assets for a loved one with a disability directly to a special needs trust.  Such a trust can provide money for “extras” that will improve your loved one’s quality of life without endangering his or her eligibility for government benefits.  Some of these “extras” include home care, transportation, vacations, personal electronics, hobby or recreational items, or extraordinary medical care.

Can’t I leave Money to the Guardian of My Special Needs Child Instead?

Some people consider leaving money to a trusted relative for the long-term care of their loved one with a disability.  Complications arise, however, when the trusted relative unexpectedly predeceases the disabled person, and the assets pass to someone without the commitment to meet your loved one’s needs.  Without provisions in place like a Special Needs Trust, your loved one may have to survive on Social Security Insurance benefits alone, which are well below the poverty level.  Careful planning via a Special Needs Trust can help prevent these problems.

How Do I Get Started in Creating a Special Needs Trust?

The Geller Law Group offers a free initial phone consult to anyone interested in a legal estate plan.  Please email her at RGeller@thegellerlawgroup.com to schedule yours today.

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