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Protect your most vulnerable loved ones.

Caring for a loved one with mental or physical disabilities can seem like a full-time job.  If you have a special needs loved one, planning for his or her care through your estate plan requires close attention.  Nearly all special needs persons receive government assistance through Social Security, Medicaid, and state assistance programs. 

However, providing a direct inheritance will almost certainly disqualify your loved one from government assistance.

Special needs trusts (SNT) are designed to benefit an individual with mental or physical disabilities. Because a trustee (and not the special needs loved one) has total control over the trust assets, government program administrators can ignore the funds within these trusts when considering eligibility for certain programs. As a result, a properly structured special needs trust can provide supplemental income to a disabled recipient without disqualifying that recipient from government programs like Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, vocational rehabilitation and subsidized housing among others.

It's absolutely critical to work with an experienced estate planning attorney on Special Needs Trusts to ensure that you protect your loved one's access to assistance.

Common uses that the funds in a Special Needs Trust may used for include:

  • Personal care attendants

  • Education

  • Medical expenses not covered through government programs

  • Vehicles

  • Furniture/televisions/computers

  • Vacations

Because SNTs have to be carefully drafted to ensure that they don’t imperil ongoing government assistance, please, please don’t attempt to do this on your own or with the aid of some legal template service.  Hire an experienced attorney to take care of your loved one.

Please go ahead and schedule your Estate Planning Strategy Session and let’s make sure you’re able to best care for your loved ones with special needs.