by Peter Lennington, Esq.
This post by American Association of Trust, Elder Law and Estate member, attorney Peter Lennington, examines the unique planning requirements of families with children, grandchildren or other family members with special needs including the establishment of Special Needs Trusts.
COSTLY MISTAKE #1: Disinheriting the child.
Many disabled people rely on SSI, Medicaid or other government benefits to provide food and shelter. Your clients may have been advised to disinherit their disabled child – the child who needs their help most – to protect that child’s public benefits. But these benefits rarely provide more than basic needs. And this “solution” does not allow your clients to help their child(ren) after the client becomes incapacitated or is gone. When a child requires, or is likely to require, governmental assistance to meet his or her basic needs, parents, grandparents and others who love the child should consider establishing a Special Needs Trust.