Caregiving for a special needs child often falls on siblings, other family members, and even the community when a parent is no longer able to care for the child due to incapacity or death. The cost of care increases when it switches from the parents to professionals since many parents are able to care for their special needs child at home.
The compassionate team at Russell Law assists families with special needs planning for their child as well as helping secure available benefits. Contact us today to schedule a consultation so you can protect your developmentally disabled child and provide for a secure future.
Questions Special Needs Parents Face
As a parent of a special needs child, you will be faced with a litany of questions, some that might not be easy to answer right away, including:
- Who will provide care for my disabled child when I no longer can?
- Will my personal medical needs overshadow the needs of my child?
- Will the cost of caring for my own medical needs leave nothing for the care of my child?
- Will my child retain their eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), community services for the developmentally disabled in my state, housing subsidies, and any other public benefits?
What is a Special Needs Trust?
A special needs trust is a legal document that protects the public benefits people with disabilities are eligible for, while also providing them with other financial assets that can help them improve the quality of their life. It provides financial assistance for the portion of medical care that public benefits do not cover. The following can be paid for using the funds from a trust:
- Transportation costs
- Medical expenses
- Payments to caretakers
- Any other allowable expenses
The first-party special needs trust is created for a person who needs to protect their own assets, such as money received from an accident settlement, inheritance, or another type of asset. This trust can be created by the person with special needs if they so choose.
An excellent way to protect your child’s eligibility for Medicaid, SSI, or other public benefits is to create a third-party trust. This is especially important when your child is due to inherit even a modest amount of money upon your death, which can jeopardize the eligibility for public benefits.
A pooled special needs trust protects assets from multiple beneficiaries in a single trust. This type of trust is created by a non-profit organization, such as a charity, and each member of the trust has its own individual account within the trust. This is a method used for investing. When the beneficiary dies, the remaining money is paid to the government for their care. If any money is left after paying the government, it is distributed to the charity that holds the trust.
The Benefits of a Special Needs Trust
One of the biggest benefits of a special needs trust is that the money in it will be used only for its intended purposes. This helps parents of developmentally disabled children relax, even if just for a bit, knowing that their child will have the proper financial resources available even when the parents can no longer care for them. A special needs trust is irrevocable, which means that the money in it cannot be seized to pay the award of a lawsuit or by creditors.
Schedule a Consultation with Our Special Needs Planning Team Today
Creating a trust to protect the financial assets you wish to leave to your developmentally disabled child is vital. A trust will ensure that your special needs child still receives public benefits despite inheriting money and other assets from you upon death. Call the office of Russell Law today at (610) 565-9010 to schedule a consultation with a compassionate and experienced member of our special needs planning team.