If you have a loved one with special medical needs, then your estate plan could be more important than you ever imagined. This is because the way in which you craft your estate plan can dictate the care that your loved one is able to receive and the financial stability that he or she will enjoy.
In far too many instances, individuals just leave assets to their loved one outright, which can be counted as income for Medicaid and other government program eligibility. Therefore, your good deed could end up disallowing your loved one from accessing the support that he or she needs.
A special needs trust can help
Fortunately, though, there are ways around that outcome. A special needs trust, for example, allows you to leave assets to your loved one in a way where the assets that are distributed to him or her will not count towards government program eligibility.
A lot of people worry about how those trust assets can be used, which is understandable. However, even though there are restrictions on how those assets can be utilized, those limitations are pretty narrow. In fact, special needs trust assets may be used to pay for any of the following:
- A primary residence
- A vehicle
- Medical care outside of that covered by government programs
- Personal items
- Medical equipment
So, as you can see, a special needs trust can provide your loved one with a lot of support without having those assets quickly expended for medical care that would otherwise be covered by something like Medicaid.
Build the competent estate plan that your loved ones deserve
We know that estate planning can be confusing and emotionally difficult. But it’s necessary if you want to fully protect your estate and your loved ones. With that in mind, you may want to discuss your circumstances with an experienced attorney so that you can create an estate planning strategy that suits your and your loved ones’ needs.