Special Needs Trusts In Arizona
Families have unique considerations to make when a child with special needs is involved. This is particularly true when it comes to leaving an inheritance to a child with special needs. Although one may think that leaving an inheritance to a special needs individual could do nothing but help that person, the truth is that even a well-intentioned gift can have negative repercussions. Most people with special needs receive public benefits, such as SSI or Medicaid. These programs are needs based, which means that only those with limited resources and income qualify. Although limited earning capacity sometimes causes people with special needs to qualify for these programs, receiving an inheritance could very well disqualify them for the assistance upon which they depend.
A special needs trust can be a useful estate planning tool for parents of somebody with special needs, as it provides a means by which they can leave their child an inheritance without jeopardizing his or her eligibility for public benefits. Any money placed in the trust for the child is not counted for purposes of determining eligibility for public benefits, so the person can continue receiving public assistance, in addition to the payments from the special needs trust. The catch is that funds from a special needs trust can only be spent on certain purposes; the child with special needs cannot have open access to the funds in the trust. Any inappropriate expenditure of special needs trust funds can cause the beneficiary to be denied or disqualified from public benefits, so it is extremely important for trustees to understand the pertinent rules. An Arizona special needs trust attorney can walk families through all of this, and help them provide their child with additional support without jeopardizing their public benefits.