Special Needs Planning

When a special need has already been identified in your loved one, it can sometimes be beneficial to create a free standing special needs trust. Littleton Legal PLLC can help you identify what kind of special needs planning works best for your family.

We suggest you consider including special needs planning language in your revocable living trust just in case a loved one such as a child, grandchild, or parent, at some point, qualifies for governmental benefits because of a special need. If assets flow to a beneficiary who qualifies for benefits, he will be disqualified until all of your money has been spent down, wasting your gift.

When you include special needs planning in your trust, you instruct the trustee to distribute assets that will supplement, as opposed to supplant, government benefits. That being said, there may come a time when it’s in your beneficiary’s best interests to go ahead and use trust assets even if disqualification occurs. You can give the trustee that power to make good decisions at the time.

So long as your beneficiary doesn’t have “demand rights,” the right to demand that the trustee distribute assets, he or she can receive Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in addition to trust benefits such as trips, special events, and excellent care.

If special needs planning sounds like a tool that could help you provide better care for a family member, please contact Littleton Legal PLLC to talk about your options with a trusted and experienced estate planning attorney.