Special Needs Planning

If you have a family member with a disability you must plan for the future very carefully.  First, if you have an incapacitated child, you need to designate in your Last Will and Testament who will be the successor guardian who is to oversee the care of that child in the event of your death.  Second, if you desire to leave any portion of your estate to that disabled individual following your death you need to be careful not to do so in a manner which will cause them to lose their eligibility for any governmental assistance benefits, such as SSI or Medicaid, that they are receiving.  This involves the establishment of a Special Needs Trust to provide funds that are available to benefit the disabled individual without disrupting their eligibility for government aid.  Such planning will help ensure that, if something were to happen to you, your loved one will be cared for in all aspects of their life: financial, educational and medical, and, most importantly, their emotional and personal needs.