Understanding Special Needs Estate Planning for the Cognitively Impaired

Understanding Special Needs Estate Planning for the Cognitively Impaired

Do you have a child or loved one with a developmental disability or other type of cognitive impairment?  Your estate plan may have considered current or potential physical disabilities, but what if your loved one has developmental or other types of cognitive disabilities?  Individuals with these types of challenges have special needs that often require specialized care and attention not considered in the typical estate plan.

What to Consider When Preparing an Estate Plan for Someone with Special Needs

In planning for those with special needs, perhaps the prominent consideration is how to provide financial support without jeopardizing one’s ability to receive government benefits.  These needs-based programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid place substantial limitations on the amount of income and other financial resources that an individual may have while maintaining eligibility.  Accordingly, if you provide support to a loved one who is either currently receiving governmental assistance or may wish to do so in the future, proper planning is critical.  Otherwise, your support may cause them to become ineligible for these benefits.

One solution to the problem is to place any support funds into a Special Needs Trust.  With a properly structured and administered Special Needs Trust, you can provide additional financial support for your loved one without risking the loss of government benefits.  Instead, your loved one with cognitive disabilities can continue to receive government benefits that will cover his or her basic care while having a special needs trust in place that can pay for other things to help improve his or her quality of life.

Contact The Law Offices of Clifford M. Cohen Today!

For more information on how to make sure your special needs planning most effectively serves you and your loved ones, please call the Law Offices of Clifford M. Cohen at (202) 895-2799 to schedule a time to meet.