If you are caring for a disabled child, it is important that you have the proper Estate Planning documents in order to provide for your child’s care when you no longer can. Setting up a Special Needs Trust allows your child to receive financial support while still remaining eligible for critical government benefits, like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
In Washington State, a Special Needs Trust can be created in your Will. An experienced Estate Planning Attorney can help you execute a Will that will set up the trust for your disabled child, and address your other critical Estate Planning needs.
Ensuring Continued Eligibility for Government Benefits
Your disabled child may be receiving Medicaid benefits to cover his or her medical needs and SSI benefits to cover other basic needs, such as housing. If this is your situation, a Special Needs Trust is necessary to ensure your child’s continued eligibility for those public benefits.
Both Medicaid and SSI have strict income and resource limits to determine eligibility. A disabled person who received Medicaid and SSI can only have resources valued at up to $2,000. Resources above this limit disqualifies the person from continuing to receive benefits. For example, if you simply leave cash, bank accounts, savings bonds, or other assets to your child valued at more than $2,000, then your child will lose his or her Medicaid and SSI benefits until those resources are depleted below the $2,000 threshold.
If instead you place the assets in a valid Special Needs Trust under Washington law, you are providing for your child while still protecting their eligibility for benefits.
Utilizing Funds In a Special Needs Trust
The funds in the Special Needs Trust will be used for the benefit of your disabled child. Your disabled child, or his or her appointed guardian, can utilize the funds for expenses that are not covered by the child’s Medicaid or SSI benefits. Your child will be able to pay for personal care items, clothing, furniture, education, transportation, and other needs beyond basic care. Setting up a Special Needs Trust for your disabled child helps to ensure quality of life.
At Elder Law Group PLLC, we know that making provisions for the future care of your disabled child can be very stressful and emotional. Together we can create a plan that addresses all of your child’s needs, so you can rest assured that your child will be taken care of after you no longer can.
Contact us or call (509) 468-0551 (Spokane office), or (509) 579-0206 (Tri-Cities office) to learn more about the benefits of a Special Needs Trust or other legal needs of the disabled and their families.