Special Needs Planning
Those who care for a child or other loved one with specials needs, whether it be a physical or mental disability, are most likely concerned about their future. What will happen to them after family members are no longer able to provide for their well-being?
People with a special needs child or loved one faces unique challenges. Individuals in Utah with special needs can certainly be named as beneficiaries in an estate plan but those bequests may keep them from qualifying for essential government benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid.
The problem, however, is that public benefits usually only cover the basic necessities such as food and housing. These benefits by themselves do not allow the individual with special needs the means to live a fuller quality of life. On the other hand, parents who want to bequest their assets to them run the risk of disqualifying them from public benefits.
The solution is a Special Needs or Supplemental Needs Trust. These special kinds of trusts allow assets to be held for individuals in Utah who receive SSI and Medicaid and meet particular requirements. A Special Needs Trust preserves government benefits while ensuring other assets can meet the supplemental needs of the person with the disability.
Those supplemental needs can include expenses beyond the basics such as:
- The purchase and maintenance of a vehicle
- Yearly checkups at a medical facility
- Materials needed for hobbies or recreational activities
- Attendance of religious events
- Out-of-pocket medical/dental services
- Education and tutoring
- Personal caregivers or escorts
- Funds for vacations or trips
- Special dietary needs
- Goods and services that enhance quality of life like furniture and electronics
Parents should be aware that these kinds of trusts are meant to supplement, not replace, government benefits. Funds from the trust cannot be distributed to the beneficiary directly but only to third parties who provide the goods and services to the disabled individual.
Our firm can help you set up a Special Needs Trust. A Special Needs Trust is a critical part of any estate plan if you have disabled individuals you want to provide for.
Wilson Law Offices - 1555 E. Stratford Ave., #100, Salt Lake City, UT 84106 - 801-467-5800