Special needs trusts are often promoted as a way to provide for the needs of individuals with disabilities without jeopardizing their eligibility for vital government benefits such as Medicaid. However, this doesn’t mean that a special needs trust is unnecessary if the beneficiary isn’t currently receiving government benefits.
You Can’t Predict the Future
Even if a beneficiary doesn’t currently need government assistance, it’s important to remember that it’s impossible to tell what the future will hold. For example:
- The beneficiary’s financial situation may change, and he may qualify for need-based programs he wouldn’t previously have been eligible to receive.
- Many disabling conditions are progressive in nature. A beneficiary who is currently able to work full-time may not be able to continue employment indefinitely.
- A beneficiary who is covered under a spouse or parent’s health insurance may lose access to coverage due to the provider’s job loss. Or, the company offering the insurance may switch to a plan with less generous benefits in an attempt to control rising healthcare costs.
A Special Needs Trust Prevents Unwise Financial Decisions
Although protecting eligibility for government benefits is certainly important, a trust also serves to prevent the beneficiary from making financial decisions that could place his future at risk. Someone who has problems with judgment and impulse control or is susceptible to manipulation by others due to cognitive impairment or mental illness is not in a position to wisely manage a large sum of money. Putting the funds in a trust allows a capable trustee to manage the funds in a way that best protects the interests of the beneficiary.
How We Can Help
If you’re worried about meeting the needs of a disabled spouse, parent, sibling, child, or grandchild, Alperin Law can discuss your concerns and help you create a comprehensive financial plan that protects your loved one’s financial future. A special needs trust is just one of the options available to help your loved one enjoy the highest possible quality of life.
Do You Have A Family Member Or Loved One Who Requires Special Needs Legal Planning?
If you are responsible for a family member or loved one who requires special needs legal planning you should speak with an experienced special needs planning attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Virginia Beach office directly at 757.490.3500 to schedule your free consultation. We have offices throughout Virginia including Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk and Suffolk.