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News & Info

The Consequences of Ignoring Special Needs Planning

Jan 21 2015

Written by Jason C. Henbest, Esq. and Brittany Saxton

Do you have a child with Autism?  Or perhaps you take care of an elderly parent?  If you find yourself taking care of a family member with Special Needs-someone who receives Social Security Income (SSI) benefits, Medicaid, or any other governmental assistance-a proper estate plan is imperative. 

When you pass away, you want to know that your family will continue to be taken care of.  What you may not know is that this Special Needs dependent needs particular care regarding estate planning, especially when making definite plans for the indefinite unknown. 

A Special Needs Trust is a critical medium of passing assets to your Special Needs beneficiary.  It promotes convenience without sacrificing suitability. A Special Needs Trust prevents the legal bind of your dependent receiving an inheritance as a beneficiary, causing the termination of their governmental benefits.  A Special Needs Trust also provides the option to plan for medical, dental, education, transportation, and other essential spending expenses.  If the Trust is sufficiently funded, your Special Need's dependent has the potential to receive lifelong financial support through customization of their unique circumstances.  Take these words of advice into consideration when planning your Special Needs Trust with your Ocean County attorney:

Verify with your local attorney that the Special Needs Trust is well-suited to your dependent's needs; the Trust should not be generic and inflexible.
Choose the right trustee who is financially sharp, competent, organized, and moral.
Do not rely on the inconsistency of siblings to the Special Needs child to share money.
Remain conscientious of predators to vulnerable Special Needs beneficiaries and Trustees.
When you are searching for a lawyer in Barnegat, Manahawkin, or Lacey Township, consider attorneys who specialize in estate planning, trust, and probate law.  It is critical that Ocean County residents speak with their attorneys about the distribution of their estate.  It is impossible to predict what life will throw at us.  Protect your family, particularly those with Special Needs, by understanding the benefits of a Special Needs Trust in the future of their care.