The best way to to provide supplemental financial resources to a person receiving supplemental security income (SSI) and Medicaid is to gift money to a Mass special needs trust. If your child has a developmental disability and cannot – or will not be able in the future – provide for their own needs, they will probably qualify for SSI and Medicaid. The families primary goal from that point on is to make sure that those benefits are not lost.
Parents can leave money to a child with a disability, but in order to keep it from causing that child to lose their government benefits, it must be put into a special needs trust (also called a supplemental needs trust). A special needs law firm will help you set up a special needs trust and incorporate it into your overall estate plan in a way that will protect your child and ensure that resources are available for the child’s care when needed.
Setting up a special needs trust for your adult with disabilities will give the ability to provide not only financial resources, but also guidance to the trustee on how you would like your adult child cared for. Administration of a special needs trust is within the discretion of the named trustee, but when parents create the trust they can also provide separate guidance to future trustees as to what their priorities in the care of their child are. For example, parents can let trustees know what things are important to them for their child to have, such as comfortable surroundings, outdoor adventures, companions, or cutting edge therapies. A Mass special needs trust can be used to supplement what is provided by government benefits in the way that best fits the way the parents themselves would have cared for their child.
Once created, the Mass special needs trust can be used to hold inheritance money, life insurance payments, or inherited retirement accounts. Consulting with an attorney at a special needs law firm like Parker Counsel Legal Services will help you create and fund the trust to best protect your child when you are gone.