Friday, March 1st, 2013

Estate Planning for Disability and Special Needs


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In planning for the disabled and those with special needs there are:

  1. Management  Issues;
  2. Control Issues;
  3. Public Benefits Issues.

As an example, a typical simple will plan may have a grandmother leaving her legacy and funds to the disabled grandchild since she sees the greatest need.

WHO WILL MANAGE THE INHERITANCE?

However, the grandchild may not be able to manage the funds if:

    1. the heir grandchild is a minor (possibly requiring a court appointed guardianship).
    2. the heir grandchild (that maybe a 50 year old) has been determined mentally incapacitated as an example.

WHO WILL CONTROL THE INHERITANCE?

Who controls the assets (money) If the heir grandchild is not capable of managing his/her affairs or the funds?

  1. Guardian appointed by the Court;
  2. Natural guardian for small amounts (typically a natural parent).

What happens when a person with special needs receives an inheritance while receiving public benefits such as Medicaid for healthcare needs?

In many cases, the heir with special needs will be disqualified from the public benefits and health care coverage needed by the heir by receiving an inheritance exceeding the governmental limits.

What do you think?