From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: How to Leave a Special Needs Child Money
Most Recently Updated August 1, 2018.
“My adult daughter is a Special Needs Child with Downs Syndrome who has always lived in Burlington County, New Jersey. She will likely always live here and always need care. She is currently eligible for and using Medicaid. When I die, I want to leave her some money, but I don’t want to disqualify her for Medicaid. How to leave a Special Needs Child Money?”
How to Leave a Special Needs Child Money
An Inheritance can Disqualify Your Child From Receiving Medicaid.
Your daughter is now eligible for Medicaid because she has little or no money of her own. Medicaid disqualification results if you die and leave her money. Further, you won’t be around any longer to use her inheritance for her care nor to reapply for Medicaid once the legacy is gone. Regular New Jersey Irrevocable Trusts are excellent tools for protecting your child from creditors. But, this same trust would still disqualify your child from Medicaid.
How to Leave a Special Needs Child Money Without Medicaid Disqualification.
To address your situation, Congress passed laws allowing you to set up what is called a “Special Needs Trust” for your daughter. You can do this now, while you are alive. Or, you can fund a Special Needs Trust using your Will after your death. The trust must follow the rules set up by Congress so the assets “supplement” your daughter’s care but do not “supplant” what government programs provide. When properly drafted, the trust funds can provide your little girl with the extra things that the government program does not provide, but she remains eligible for Medicaid.
Remember, the Special Needs Trust must satisfy the statute. Have your trust drafted by an experienced, Special Needs Trust Attorney.
See my website for more information about Special Needs Estate Planning or Special Needs Trusts,
More Planning Questions?
Special needs estate planning is only a piece of the Estate Planning process. By all means, if you want to learn more, please read my more detailed article, Estate Planning Everything You Need to Know.
In Conclusion: How to leave a Special Needs Child Money
I hope that this article was helpful in explaining special needs estate planning. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website so you can learn more. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!
Let our Estate Planning lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced estate planning lawyers. By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to make the process as painless as possible!
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