All parents want what is best for their children, and estate plans are often created with this goal in mind. For parents of disabled children, this need is especially pressing – most will want to ensure that their child’s quality of life will not be compromised after they die, especially if the child cannot fully support him or herself through employment.
In Colorado, parents can set up a Special Needs Trust to provide for the lifetime needs of a disabled child. However, because the stakes are so high, it is important that parents work with an experienced Colorado estate planning lawyer to create the trust. It would be a tragedy if the trust failed after the parents’ death and left the disabled child without the financial support he or she needs
What is a Special Needs Trust?
In short, a Special Needs Trust is a trust that is uniquely designed to provide for the long-term needs of a disabled person. Special Needs Trusts maintain eligibility for public benefits programs such as Medicaid and SSI, while providing additional income for expenses such as housing, recreation, education and other quality-of-life items.
It is not just parents who can set up Special Needs Trusts. Anyone can use this tool to provide for a disabled or ailing loved one.
Why hire an attorney?
Special Needs Trusts are complex, and as such, it is critical that they are created with the help of an experienced attorney. Mistakes in creation can result in loss of income or benefits for the disabled person down the road. This can be especially problematic if there are no other family members around to look after the disabled person’s needs. An experienced attorney can avoid these mistakes, and ensure your loved one is taken care of.
In addition, trust funds have to be managed by a trustee. This might be a corporation, a financial advisor or a family member. An experienced attorney can help select a trustee who will manage the trust responsibly and ethically. In addition, the attorney can ensure that the trust is set up in a way that maximizes clarity and minimizes risk.
If you’re wondering about how to care for a disabled loved one after you pass away, talk to a Colorado estate planning attorney to get started.