A major driver that sends people into an attorney’s office to plan their estate is the desire to ensure the ones they loved are cared for after they’re gone. This is especially true for parents and family members of people who have special needs, either physical or intellectual disabilities that mean they’ll need extra care for the rest of their lives and the resources to receive his care. They often come into our office looking to set up a Utah special needs trust.
Preserve Access to Benefits
As a parent, family member, or guardian of someone with special needs, you want to ensure your loved one gets the best care they possibly can, but you also want to set up your estate in a way that doesn’t prevent them from accessing state and federal benefits and care programs as well. You also want to ensure that the funds are used to enrich the life of your loved one and that they’re as protected as you can leave them.
Many special needs individuals receive government support from Medicaid, Supplemental Social Security Income, VA benefits, state funds and resources, and more. Each of these programs has resource limits preventing individuals who have more means from accessing these programs. A special needs individual, however, often needs both their government benefits and the extra resources loving family members can provide.
Other Special Needs Trust Considerations
Each situation is unique and your attorney will consider both the needs of the individual and the means of the person leaving the funds when putting together the trust. This will likely include a number of actions on the part of the testator including assigning a guardian if the person will need someone to look after them when the testator is gone. This is especially true for people with intellectual disabilities and you will want to talk to the person you plan to assign as guardian and make sure they are comfortable with the role. In addition to naming someone guardian, you may want to specify where the person with special needs will be living, either so they can continue in their current arrangement or move from your home somewhere else that can meet their needs.
You may also choose to purchase life insurance policies or set aside assets to ensure they have the financial resources they need. This trust must be set up so that they do not lose access to their benefits and should name a trustee who will be responsible for managing the funds. The trust document can provide guidelines on how to expend the funds and assets in the trust. Setting up an organized and effective estate is especially important when you want to ensure the care of an individual with special needs. You want an experienced estate attorney to help you. At Dunn Law Firm, we take the time to get to know you and your specific situation in order to create a comprehensive estate plan that covers special needs and anything else you may need. To learn more, reach out to the Dunn Law Firm by calling (435) 628-5405 to set up a free consultation today.