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Why parents of the disabled should consider special needs trusts

As an Ohio parent of a disabled or special needs child, you face unique estate-planning considerations, but odds are, a primary goal is to see that your child’s needs are met once you pass on. Depending on the type and severity of your child’s disability, he or she may end up needing a lifetime of care after your passing, and one way to see that your child has everything he or she needs involves establishing a special needs trust. At King, Koligan & Associates, LLC, we understand the benefits of special needs trusts, and we have helped many parents navigate estate planning efforts on behalf of their special needs children.

Just how can a special needs trust help your disabled or special needs child? Through establishing a special needs trust, you can help ensure that any assets you leave to your child go directly to him or her, bypassing probate. Per CNBC, assets in the trust can also go directly to your disabled child after your passing, rather than having them go toward Medicaid reimbursements, as might be the case without an established trust.

Arguably the most important benefit of a special needs trust, however, is that it may enable your child to retain government benefits, even if the money you leave behind would otherwise disqualify him or her from receiving public assistance. To qualify for most types of public assistance, your child must undergo a means test to determine financial need. Should you leave assets in a will, rather than a trust, the money you leave behind may place your son or daughter over the threshold needed to qualify for public benefits.

Any assets you leave in a special needs trust, however, do not factor in when determining public assistance eligibility. In other words, this is a great way to safeguard the money you want to leave your child without having to worry about it affecting your child’s ability to receive critical assistance from the government. More about estate planning is available on our web page.

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