“Maintaining your dignity and the dignity of your loved ones.”
That is a predominant concern for legions of estate planners. We centrally underscore it on our website at the proven New York metro estate planning law firm of Asterita & Associates.
We note therein the broad-based goals that an effective planning strategy can address and promote. Today’s blog post focuses narrowly on one focal point that is of top concern for many planners, namely, the continued protection of their children with special needs.
Those needs can be many and diverse, of course. Some children face ongoing physical hurdles that are both material and persistent. Others deal with life-long mental challenges. Loving parents and other caregivers naturally want to take action that addresses such difficulties and provides maximum support for affected loved ones over the long term.
The estate planning realm has long recognized one tool that is optimally effective for promoting that protective goal.
The special needs trust: strong benefits for select loved ones
As noted by an in-depth legal overview of special needs trusts, those planning instruments “are made specifically for the benefit of those with physical and/or mental disabilities” who might reasonably be unable to manage on their own. Here are some relevant points to note concerning special needs trusts:
- A special needs trust can help ensure that a beneficiary does not lose benefits received under government programs (e.g., Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, subsidized housing and vocational training)
- Trust funds are immune from creditor claims and legal judgments
- A trust can be the repository for an inheritance or any settlement, with such monies again being shielded from third-party claims
- Trustee control over funds can enable management that persistently promotes flexibility and the promotion of a beneficiary’s best interests
A prospective planning individual or family might understandably have questions or concerns regarding a special needs trust. An experienced estate planning legal team can address them and help implement a strategy that strongly promotes the interests of a family loved one.