Estate Planning and the Special Needs Trust
A Special Needs Trust is a specific trust which ensures that a beneficiary remains eligible for Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, and other government benefits. It also provides for distributions for medical care not covered by Medicaid as well as other enhancements to the beneficiary’s quality of life.
Your will should provide your Personal Representative the ability to set up a Special Needs Trust in the event that, at the time of your death, any of your beneficiaries meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disabled. This provision would protect beneficiaries who may already be disabled, as well as for those who may become disabled by the time of your death.
Inheritance by a disabled individual can result in automatic disqualification from government assistance programs, including the loss of medical coverage. Even if successful in obtaining a reversal of the disqualification, the individual could still be placed on long waiting lists to resume participation in various other programs.
You should consider providing for a Special Needs Trust as a simple and worthwhile addition to your estate plan.
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