While estate planning is beneficial for almost everyone, it is even more imperative if you have a child with special needs. Because most children with special needs receive benefits from the government, it is important to protect them from losing those benefits.

We understand how special needs planning helps families prepare for the future and have helped many of our clients.

Keeping your child eligible for benefits

According to a Forbes article, one of the main reasons you should set up a special needs trust is to ensure your child remains eligible for their government benefits. When you pass away, a large inheritance may cause your child to cross the income eligibility threshold for benefits, thereby disqualifying your child from receiving them. A special needs trust is an important tool because you can leave behind an inheritance to your child that will not affect their income levels. The trust is set up for their benefit, but a trustee will manage and distribute funds to your child when he or she needs them.

Providing for your child’s future

You may wonder if you can just leave your inheritance to all of your other children, instead of creating a special needs trust, with the understanding that a portion of the money is for your child with special needs. This can be a risky approach, however, for several reasons. If one of your children goes through a divorce, for example, the inheritance may be divisible between spouses since it is not legally set aside for your child with special needs. More information about this topic is available on our webpage.