Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s 5 month old son who has Down Syndrome has caused an increase in public awareness about children with special needs. Special needs children are those that need extra care whether because of a developmental disability, autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, or other physical or mental condition. Many parents in San Diego County have children with special needs and know all too well about the extra care they require, the government benefits they rely on, and the financial challenges they face.
Many families with special needs children need to rely on Medi-Cal or Social Security to help with the high cost of health care. This financial support can continue throughout the child’s life. Parents and grandparents of special needs children and adults may want to provide for their disabled loved ones in their will or trust but they do not want to jeopardize the individual’s eligibility for public benefits. A Supplemental Needs Trust is the answer.
A Supplemental Needs Trust (often called a Special Needs Trust) enable a person with a physical or mental disability to have assets held in a trust and those assets will not be considered countable assets for purposes of qualifying for certain government benefits. Supplemental needs that can be paid for by the trust may be such items as special medical equipment, dental needs, eyeglasses, recreation, entertainment, transporation, computer equipment, or special dietary needs.
Parents or other family members of disabled individuals who want to provide for a disabled beneficiary can establish a supplemental needs trust as part of their own estate plan and the trust will be established upon their death.
For more information on special needs trusts, read the article on our website. The law firm of Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation can incorporate a special needs trust into your estate plan or prepare a “stand alone” special needs trust, tailored to fit your concerns about your special needs beneficiaries. Call us or e mail us if we can help.