Special Circumstances - Dependents with special needs



For parents of special needs children, the long-term care and financial security of their children is a major concern. Ensuring a special needs child will be taken care of after the parents' deaths is a top priority.


Planning issues

  • Government benefits - Following the death of their parents, special needs individuals may qualify for certain government programs.
    • Supplementary Security Income (SSI) - Pays monthly benefit to disabled individuals with less than $2,000 in assets and an inability to earn more than a minimal income.
    • Medicaid - Individuals who qualify for SSI automatically are eligible for Medicaid coverage for health care costs.
  • Special Needs Trust - A type of trust set up to help provide for a special needs individual after the parents' deaths. If not properly drafted, may make the special needs individual ineligible for government benefits. Consultation with a lawyer experienced in special needs trusts is required. Special needs trusts typically are funded with life insurance, real estate, retirement plans.
Monetary windfalls

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