Special Needs Planning
Providing for someone with special needs isn’t as simple as including them in a traditional will or trust. A direct distribution of funds from an estate could inadvertently disqualify you or your loved one from government benefits.
At TuckerAllen, we have in-depth experience to help you structure a special needs estate plan that not only designates who will inherit assets but also includes provisions for those with special needs. We’ll also explain the specific requirements that must be met for special needs estate plans and third-party supplemental needs trusts, and offer guidance in naming contingent beneficiaries.
Isn’t a Will or Trust Enough?
If you have a loved one with special needs, having a special needs estate plan gives you a way to provide them with a future that includes more than just the essentials – food, shelter, and medical care. This plan focuses on the unknown issues that can arise when we age and provides reassurance that the beneficiary will never lack “non-essentials” (companionship, clothing, dental care, a wheelchair, the ability to visit family and more) that aren’t covered by government-funded programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and VA Benefits.
Depending on your circumstances, you may wish to also create a third-party supplemental needs trust. Your TuckerAllen attorney will help you explore all of your options during your initial consultation.
Who Needs a Special Needs Estate Plan?
Do you have a loved one with a disability or a child who will never be able to live independently due to a condition such as autism or Down syndrome? Has your spouse been diagnosed with a progressively debilitating disease such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or ALS? If so, a special needs estate plan is the best way to not only allocate your assets but also preserve your loved one’s government disability benefits. The rules and laws preserving benefit eligibility are complex and the stakes are high, so a special needs estate plan is best created by an attorney with a depth of knowledge and experience in the field.
What’s a Third-Party Supplemental Needs Trust?
A third-party supplemental needs trust is not an estate plan, but a trust set up specifically for the benefit of an individual with special needs by a third party (often a family member or friend). A third-party trust is created with money set aside by a loved one to provide for the wellbeing of the individual who has the disability. It is structured to make assets available to the individual with special needs without rendering them ineligible for public benefit programs such as Medicaid and supplemental security income (SSI).
Special Needs Planning Pricing
Special Needs Will Package
If you are a family member, friend, or guardian of an individual with special needs, you may wish to choose the Special Needs Will Package instead of a traditional Will Package. This plan offers the additional advantage of allowing you to set aside funds for an individual with special needs without disqualifying them from receiving eligible public benefits. This package includes: Third Party Supplemental Needs Trust, Last Will & Testament, Healthcare Directive (Living Will), Medical Power of Attorney, HIPAA Release, Financial Power of Attorney and Beneficiary Deed.
Special Needs Trust Package
Like the Special Needs Will Package, this plan allows you to set aside funds for an individual with special needs without disqualifying them from receiving eligible public benefits. It also allows you to help your loved ones avoid a lengthy probate court process. This package includes: Third Party Supplemental Needs Trust, Revocable Trust, Pour-Over Will, Healthcare Directive (Living Will), Medical Power of Attorney, HIPAA Release, Financial Power of Attorney and Beneficiary Deed.
Third-Party Supplemental Needs Trust
Unlike the Special Needs Will and Trust Packages, a Third-Party Supplemental Needs Trust is not an estate plan. Instead, it is a trust set up specifically to benefit an individual with special needs by a third party (often a friend or family member). It is structured to make assets available to the special needs individual without rendering them ineligible for public benefit programs such as Medicaid and supplemental security income (SSI).
View our complete pricing list.
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