Special Needs Planning

What is special needs planning?

A big concern for our clients who wish to provide for loved ones  with special needs, is what happens to our loved one when we are gone? Those with special needs may have physical or mental disabilities.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that you can leave money or other assets outright for your loved one for the future. While you can do this, this may have the effect of disrupting or even disqualifying them from public benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid.

Another major concern is that public benefits provide only for certain necessities such as food, clothing, housing and medicine. For those parents that want to provide a higher standard of living for their special needs loved one, it is essential to leave additional assets to this individual, but not disqualify them from receiving public benefits.

Fortunately, our federal and state governments have legislated tools that can be used to allow money and other assets to be held in a special trust.  These trusts are called “Special Needs” or “Supplemental Needs” Trusts (SNT’s) and are created for a recipients of SSI and/or Medicaid.

At The Law Offices of Anthony B. Ferraro, LLC, we help clients create special needs trusts so that governmental benefits eligibility is preserved, while at the same time allowing assets to provide for needs beyond what is provided for by means-tested governmental benefits.

SNTs can provide for variety of expenditures that enhance life such as the following: clothing, funds for trips, funds for certain entertainments such as movies and outings, specialized automobile or transportation requirements, special dietary needs, etc.

The types of trust we create can sometimes be built in to your revocable living trust, sometimes they stand by themselves as separate trusts, or sometimes these types of trusts are built into your will when the beneficiary of your special needs trust is your spouse.