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Protect your disabled child with a special needs trust

Posted by Lidia Law Firm, P.C. | May 15, 2019 | 0 Comments

As an Oklahoma parent of a child with special needs, you may have to provide care for that child long after you might, had he or she not had a disability, and your estate planning needs, too, involve special considerations. Chances are, you need to make accommodations to ensure that your child will receive the care he or she needs once you are no longer around and able to provide it, and at Lidia Law Firm, we understand that special needs trusts can help you accomplish this.

According to CNBC, some parents of special needs children find that caring for them over the course of their lifetimes can cost more than $1 million. Many families simply do not have that kind of cash on hand, but increasingly, they are relying on special needs trusts to help them pay for their child's continued care once they pass on.

What, exactly, is a special needs trust, and how can it help your disabled child? In simple terms, a special needs trust is an arrangement that lets you set money aside for your disabled child using a method that will not make him or her ineligible for government benefits. If your disabled child is, say, a recipient of Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid benefits, he or she must undergo periodic “means testing” to prove eligibility for these benefits.

If you leave your child assets when you pass away that you did not move into a trust, those assets could potentially cause your child to have too much at his or her disposal to qualify for government assistance any longer. Placing assets into a special needs trust, however, helps you avoid a possible benefits disqualification, because the assets in the trust belong to the trustee and not your special needs child. You can find out more about this and similar estate planning efforts on our webpage.

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