If you are the Ohio parent of a special needs child or adult, you have unique estate planning needs that probably differ broadly from those of your friends or family members. In addition to leaving your son or daughter assets you have worked hard to secure in your life, you must also consider factors such as who is to care for your child once you are no longer able to do so. At Flynn, Py & Kruse, we understand the estate planning needs of parents who have disabled children, and we have helped many clients orchestrate solid plans for the future.
Per CNBC, many special needs children and adults utilize federal benefit programs, such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income, to provide for themselves and help offset the costs associated with care. If you leave your disabled child assets in a traditional will, however, doing so has the potential to impact your child’s public benefits eligibility. How?
Anyone who receives public assistance through these programs must first pass a means test to determine need. Depending on how much you leave your special needs child in your will, the amount may place your child above the threshold needed to retain public assistance. Leaving assets to your child in a special needs trust, however, alleviates this concern.
Assets you leave your child in a special needs trust do not factor in during public benefits means testing, meaning creating a trust is one way you can provide for your child’s future without having to sacrifice public assistance. As an added bonus, assets you leave in the trust are not the direct property of your child, which means, should your child pass on, they can go to charity, other family members or what have you, rather than to Medicaid reimbursement. More about special needs estate planning is available on our web page.