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Creating special needs trusts to provide for loved ones

Many Colorado families have aging family members, adult children who have a disability or a spouse with a disability. Individuals want to ensure that their loved ones are cared for after their deaths, but they also want to be sure that these special needs family members remain eligible for government benefits and assistance such as Medicaid. The way to do that is to create special needs trusts.

In order to receive benefits from Medicaid, your loved one will need to meet certain qualifications, including financial ones. If too many assets are left in the name of your loved one, they will need to be spent down in order to meet the criteria for impoverishment. This could leave the individual in a precarious financial position. Putting assets and money into a special needs trust can provide for your loved one while allowing him or her to qualify for Medicaid.

Perhaps more importantly than in any other trust, it is necessary to ensure that its provisions will be carried out as you intend. You must have absolute confidence in the person you appoint to be the trustee after your death. There are also tax considerations and language requirements that need to be considered and accounted for in order to ensure that the trust is legal and will stand the test of time.

Therefore, it is important to enlist the guidance and assistance of an estate planning attorney who is familiar with both federal and Colorado laws pertaining to special needs trusts. Your family's future could depend on it. You can be given peace of mind that arrangements are in place to take care of an ailing family member once you are gone and can no longer do so yourself.

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