Special Needs Require Special Planning 2007

March 10, 2007

JADWEB Families with a member who has special needs understand that mainstream solutions are not enough to solve everyday issues that often arise. Likewise, mainstream estate planning is insufficient to address the unique issues involved in planning for someone with special needs.

It is imperative to develop an estate plan for a person with a special need because the financial consequences can be devastating if a plan is not properly created or does not exist. The use of a health care proxy, power of attorney, last will and testament and special needs trust can address most of the concerns and goals of families planning for an individual with special needs. Here, the special needs trust really holds the spotlight.

Special needs trusts (also known as "supplemental needs" trusts) allow a disabled beneficiary to receive gifts, lawsuit settlements, or other funds without losing eligibility for certain government programs. Such trusts are drafted so that the funds in the trust are considered to belong to the beneficiary, and therefore, are excluded in determining the individual's eligibility for public benefits.

As the families of disabled beneficiaries and the individuals themselves know, public benefits programs have restrictions that, if not observed, would disqualify the beneficiary from public benefits. Creation
of a special needs trust in compliance with the requirements can provide amazing benefits to the individual.

Special needs trusts aren't designed to provide basic support, but are created to pay for comforts and luxuries...

You may read more at the link below.

by: Julie A. Dialessi-Lafley, Esq.

Healthcare Ledger
December 2006

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