At Haas & Zaltz, LLP we are committed to helping families with children who have special needs make sure that their children are taken well-taken care of in the event that the parents are unable to do so.
Physical or mental disabilities can create significant challenges for disabled children, disabled adults and their families. In addition to emotional and developmental challenges, families face burdensome medical expenses, assisted care needs and other special needs throughout life. Government benefits are essential to the physical, financial and emotional well being of disabled individuals and their families. While estate planning is critical for any family, it is a necessity for families with special needs.
Special Needs Trust
A Supplemental Needs Trust (sometimes called a Special Needs Trust) is a legal document designed to protect and provide care for an individual who has a disability. A Supplemental Needs Trust is most often a “stand alone” document, but it can also be part of a will.
A Supplemental Needs Trust enables a person under a physical or mental disability, or an individual with a chronic or acquired illness, to have, held in Trust for his or her benefit, an unlimited amount of assets. In a properly-drafted Supplemental Needs Trust, those assets are not considered countable assets for purposes of qualification for certain governmental benefits.
A properly established and maintained Special or Supplemental Needs Trust will shelter (exclude) the assets held by the trust for purposes of Medical Assistance eligibility. Such benefits may include Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, vocational rehabilitation, subsidized housing, and other benefits based upon need.