The Power Of Trusts To Provide For Loved Ones' Special Needs

Estate planning is not simply an inheritance guide for wealthy families. It affects all families, including those caring for a physically or cognitively disabled adult son or daughter, spouse or other family member. One of the best legal tools for such a scenario is a special-needs trust, also called a supplemental-needs trust.

A Creative Solution To Asset Limits

Caring for a loved one with special needs is typically expensive — often beyond what a family can reasonably afford. Government benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may be available, but they are usually not enough to cover all costs. Moreover, they come with strict eligibility requirements that make it difficult to contribute additional funds of your own.

To qualify for SSI, for instance, an individual cannot possess more than a couple of thousand dollars in assets, including income from work and gifts from family members. If you have a disabled son or daughter who is now an adult, providing even moderate financial help could make him or her ineligible for SSI.

This is where a special-needs trust comes in. You can create a trust to set aside money expressly for the benefit of your loved one with special needs and appoint a trustee to oversee the distribution of those funds. Because the funds are not owned or controlled by the beneficiary, the money in the trust will not be calculated when assessing the person's assets. Therefore, he or she can continue to receive government benefits like Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid.

How Our Firm Can Help

At Avalon Legal Group our skilled estate planning attorneys will guide you through the process of creating a special-needs trust and help you customize it for your unique situation. We will ensure that the trust is legally sound and educate you (and the trustee) on how to maintain compliance with all requirements.

Contact Us For Answers To Your Legal Questions

Our small law firm atmosphere allows us to personalize legal counsel in a comfortable setting. The Las Vegas office of Avalon Legal Group represents clients throughout the area, including Henderson and Clark County. In addition to English, members of our legal team speak Spanish, Farsi and Russian. To schedule your initial consultation with one of our skilled lawyers, call us at 702-522-6450 or send an email inquiry. Se habla español.