A person with a disability can find their government benefits reduced drastically if they inherit an estate. Historically, it has been difficult for a disabled person to receive assets from a benefactor without losing benefits that the government provides. Since Congress addressed this issue through enactment of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, it has been possible to pass on wealth to someone with a disability without jeopardizing their government sponsored benefits. At The Burton Law Firm, we are adept at crafting effective special needs trusts, or supplemental needs trusts, that will protect the assets and benefits of a person with a disability. Let us help you effectively pass on your wealth.
We find that special needs planning is the most reliable method to ensure that your assets are passed on to your disabled loved one without putting their government benefits in jeopardy. Our experience creating these trusts allows us to avoid some of the more common pitfalls that can render a supplemental needs trust invalid, or at the very least cause your loved one to lose benefits or create unnecessary expense in the administration of a trust. Thus, assets used to fund a special needs trust can be used to provide extra medical care, furniture and furnishings, vacations and companionship, benefits advocates, and other items and services to enhance the living situation.
It is vitally important that a supplemental needs trust is drafted by an attorney who understands all of the issues and special considerations associated with this area of practice. While it is always important to retain the services of skilled lawyers, in this area it is absolutely critical. The improper formation of a special needs trust can have devastating consequences. There are many areas of the law that have to be addressed precisely in order to keep government benefit sources from "invading" a supplemental needs trust. If the proper language is not used throughout the trust it can be easily invalidated.
Our head estate planning attorney David Kelly has decades of experience crafting trusts that stand the test of time. Contact him to discuss the challenges associated with your individual circumstances.