Planning for the long term requires extra attention for loved ones with special needs. Let’s take, for example, the scenario of a grandmother whose grandson is living with a disability. While Grandma doesn’t have a large nest egg, she still wants to give her grandson a piece of the family inheritance. She doesn’t want to disinherit him! Like all indulgent grandmothers who never let the cookie jar go empty, she wants to show her love and generosity even after her passing. At the same time, she doesn’t want her grandson to lose his eligibility for the public benefits that contribute to his quality of life. A Special Needs Trust is what she needs.
Eligibility in question
Here’s the thing: People with disabilities who have more than $2,000 in available assets aren’t eligible for government assistance like Medicaid and Supplementary Security Income (SSI). If Grandma’s gift comes in the form of a traditional trust, the inheritance will be counted as income for her grandson. However, assets derived from a Special Needs would not count as income. In short, funds from a Special Needs Trust don’t prevent the person with a disability from receiving the public benefits for which they quality.
Special Needs Trust is a valuable tool
For Grandma, a Special Needs Trust is an effective way to leave money to her grandson and nominate a trustee to administer the trust funds. The Special Needs Trust is also a valuable tool for parents to provide for their adult child living with a disability, after Mom and Dad are gone.
Nonprofit administers trusts
Special Needs Trusts are processed through WisPACT, a private nonprofit agency which administers pooled trusts for people with disabilities. With pooled trusts, the cost of administering the trust is shared among many small trusts. Once a Special Needs Trust application is completed and signed by a Wisconsin attorney, the application is submitted to WisPACT for review.
Special Needs Planning encompasses a range of services including Special Needs Trusts, Power of Attorney documents, Letters of Intent, and contingency planning. Let’s do what we can to provide for these vulnerable children and grandchildren. Schedule a free consultation with Attorney Devin Shanley today, 920-471-0929.
About Us: Attorney Devin Shanley is the approachable expert clients can trust. A native of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Devin has been developing legal solutions in his beloved hometown since 2012. Married to Mo and dad to two rambunctious kids, he has a soft spot for the Green Bay Packers, grilling out, and playing with his kids. His areas of practice are Estate Planning, Family Law, Business Law, and Non-Profit Organization Law. Schedule your free consultation by calling 920-471-0929.