Do you have a special needs child? A child with a disability that will keep him from managing day-to-day living? You know you are not alone. Looking ahead, though, you worry that your child will be alone and unable to care for himself. Whether the disability is congenital or is the result of an accident, all you know is that you will not be around forever to look after him.
A good trust attorney can help you ensure that your child is taken care of, no matter what happens to you. Your attorney will walk you through the options -- yes, there are options -- and help you decide which planning tool is best for your child.
For example, you may have heard about special needs trusts. You understand that the trust safeguards the funds that a trustee then distributes to make sure your child's basic needs are met.
When you visit our office, one of our attorneys will explain the details to you. There is no sales pitch involved, and no one will expect you to make a decision then and there. The attorney will ask some questions and get to know you and your unique circumstances first, moving on to explain how special needs trusts work.
You and your attorney will talk about how to establish a trust and the difference between a self-settled trust and a third-party trust. You will learn if you and your child qualify for a self-settled trust, because there are some fairly strict rules. For example, the money that will go into the trust must belong to your child. It can be an inheritance or it can be the damages award from a lawsuit.
You will learn, too, how the federal government treats special needs trusts if your child is receiving Supplement Security Income or Medicaid. Your attorney will explain all the pros and cons of each of your options so you can make the best decision possible.
All of this may take more than one meeting, of course. But that's OK, because setting up a trust is a process, a process that is made easier when you and your attorney are in it together.
We can be your partner in this process. If you would like to learn more about our firm, please contact us.