If you have a family member who is disabled or has special needs, your estate planning must take this into consideration. Someone who has a disability — whether intellectual, mental or physical — may need additional protections once you are gone, and a traditional will or beneficiary arrangement may actually be a detriment your loved one.

If your child or other beneficiary has special needs, contact a special needs trust attorney in Berks County, PA or your community to talk about arrangements to protect your family. An attorney at Miller Law Group, for example, can help you understand how special needs trusts could be a solution for your family.

Special Considerations for Estate Planning

If you have a family member or child who has special needs, there are two main concerns you’ll need to address when planning your estate:

  1. Your beneficiary may need extra help. If your beneficiary is someone who requires special care, you may need a living will or other legal instruments to protect him or her in case something happens to you and you are no longer able to provide support. It is important any trustee you appoint in a trust or other legal instrument is a trusted individual who will look out for the best interest of your child or family member. This person will be in charge of your loved one’s care, can help your beneficiary make sound decisions and can help them take care of themselves. Once you’re no longer able to care for your loved one, your beneficiary may also need extra help managing your estate. Simply handing over assets or property may be inadvisable. A trusted individual, or even a group of individuals, may be needed to help your loved one make financial decisions. This way, your loved one can get clothing, education and any extra care they need in a supportive fashion.
  2. Your beneficiary may be getting special government benefits. One area of concern is the special benefits for which someone with disabilities may qualify. A disabled person may get needs-based government benefits including Medi-Cal, SSI (Supplemental Social Security Income) or other benefits. In fact, your loved one may depend on these benefits for health care, income and other needs. If you leave your estate to a loved one, your family member may have their benefits cut off because of the size of your estate. Unfortunately, this can create a devastating situation — one in which your assets are used up to pay for medical care and other expenses that were covered by government benefits before.

Losing government benefits is a serious concern. Even if you leave a large estate, it may soon be gone if it’s used to pay for housing and other basic services. Even worse, it may be difficult for your beneficiary to then reapply for and resume their benefits after the estate is gone.

If you’re leaving a loved one any assets, it’s important to consult with a special needs trust attorney in Reading, PA or your region. An attorney can determine how to protect your assets and how to protect your loved one’s government benefits. This way, your property can be used to better the life of your family member while still allowing them to get the medical care and other support they need.

Protect Your Family — Contact a Special Needs Trust Attorney in Reading, PA

A special needs trust keeps money from your estate in a trust. You can either create a living trust or create a provision for a supplemental needs trust or special needs trust in your will. A supplemental needs trust attorney in Berks County, PA can help you review your assets, property and your future wishes to determine what legal instruments can protect your family member in the future.

If you would like to speak with a supplemental needs trust attorney in Berks or Reading, PA, contact Miller Law Group. In a supportive and caring environment, you can find out how to help your beneficiaries and what options exist for your family.