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Adding a special needs trust to your estate plan

On Behalf of | Dec 15, 2019 | Estate Planning

Georgia residents who have a thorough estate plan can rest assured that their beneficiaries will receive property and other assets according to their wishes. However, if you have a family member with a disability and you want to provide for them after you are gone, a special needs trust can help. At Hill & Watchko, LLC, we often assist clients in establishing an estate plan especially for a disabled child or family member. 

Kiplinger reports that a special needs trust allows the beneficiary to qualify for certain public benefits. Depending on the situation, your child may become eligible for Supplemental Security Income, Section 8 housing and Social Security Disability Insurance. Even if your child does not receive benefits, the money has protection against poor financial decisions and from those who try to take advantage of them. You can select a trustee who makes distributions to your child and manages the assets. 

Preparing a realistic budget is critical. Housing is frequently the most significant unknown cost. You may decide that buying accommodations, such as a condo, meet your child’s needs. Taking space in a building that cares for individuals with disabilities may also be an option. However, a special needs child has many other expenses related to the disability and family lifestyle too. There are maintenance fees, staffing, food and other routine expenses the trust can cover. 

Traditionally funds transfer to the trust after you pass away. Going forward, it can also cover the cost for filing tax returns, administration expenses and other fees.  Group housing and adult foster care may also be an option. Discuss your needs with an experienced attorney. You can create an estate plan that includes a special needs trust that provides for your child long after you are gone. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.