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Parents that have children with special needs face different estate planning challenges than most families:
- How do you leave funds for the benefit of the child without rendering the child ineligible for important public benefits?
- How do you make sure that the funds are well managed?
- How do you make sure your other children are not over-burdened with care for the sibling with disabilities?
- What is fair for distributing your estate between your child with special needs and your other children?
- How do you make sure there is enough money to sustain your special needs child over time?
Parents of a child with disabilities often try to resolve these issues by disinheriting the child with a disability and leaving their estates to their other children with an instruction to care for their sibling. However, the outcome is not always functional or ideal. The better answer for many of these questions is a Special Needs Trust. These trusts fulfill two primary functions (1) to manage funds for someone who may not do so himself due to disability, and (2) to preserve the beneficiary’s eligibility for public benefits, whether that be SSI, Medicaid, public housing, or any other program.
Hundley & Harrison can help you take steps to preserve both your family’s assets and expected government benefits to provide your loved ones with special needs the best possible future.