Estate Planning for Special Needs

Estate Planning for Special Needs & Disabled Children in Northwest Indiana

Dependable legal guidance from an Indiana special needs planning attorney.

If you have a child with special needs, it can be difficult to know where to start with your estate planning. You may wish to name your child as a beneficiary, but do not want to negatively impact his or her eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and other public benefits. Fortunately, there are options available to your family.

At CCSK Law, our dedicated Indiana estate planning attorneys have years of experience assisting families dealing with this very issue. We tailor an estate planning strategy to your needs, using special needs trusts and other available tools to put your family in the best position possible as you prepare for the future.

How does a special needs planning work?

A supplemental needs trust is a great way to leave an inheritance to a special needs child without it impacting that individual’s ability to qualify for public benefits. Rather than giving assets or property to your loved one directly, you designate the trust as the beneficiary and name a person as the trustee. The trustee oversees the trust assets. He or she spends the money per your directions for your child’s behalf, and within the limitations set by the government support programs for which your child benefits.

Basically, the assets in the trust do not belong to your disabled loved one, and so they are not counted when determining that person’s public benefits eligibility. Meanwhile, your child may continue benefiting from the trust’s assets for the rest of his or her life.

Take a cohesive approach to your estate planning.

Although a special needs trust is a fantastic tool, it works best when incorporated into a through and customized estate plan. Work with an attorney to coordinate the trust with your other estate planning mechanisms, to ensure the trust has sufficient assets, and to take care not to provide assets to your disabled child through other means.

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