As a Pennsylvania parent of a disabled or special needs child, you may have valid concerns about how your child will get by once you are no longer around to assist him or her. Often, parents facing similar circumstances choose to establish what are known as special needs trusts, which are fiduciary arrangements that can help you plan for your disabled child’s future. John A. Cochran, Esquire, understands that special needs trusts can offer many benefits for special needs parents and children, and he has helped many parents of disabled children pursue long-term solutions that meet their needs.
According to CNBC, it can cost millions of dollars to provide for a special needs child over the course of his or her lifetime, and many families with disabled children rely on government assistance to help them cover the cost of care. Should you leave your disabled child assets behind in a traditional will, however, you could potentially make him or her ineligible for certain types of government assistance, and that is where the special needs trust comes into play.
As a disabled individual, your child may currently receive government benefits that might include, for example, Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid. However, because such programs are income-based, leaving assets behind to your child in a will could potentially make him or her ineligible for federal assistance. Creating a special needs trust allows you to get around this by letting you leave your legacy behind for your child without worrying that doing so will impact government benefit eligibility.
How? When you place assets into a trust, you are transferring them out from your direct ownership. In other words, the assets inside the trust do not factor in when assessing your child’s finances and financial needs, so they will not affect his or her ability to continue to receive government assistance. You can find out more about trusts and other estate planning options by visiting our webpage.