Having a disabled child or other family member presents unique circumstances when planning your estate. Because of the additional lifetime care your loved one may require, and the complexity of government regulations pertaining to their receipt of benefits such as Medicaid or SSI, it’s important to have expert assistance when planning for their care.
The good news is that you can provide security and improve your loved one’s enjoyment of life through special needs trusts designed to allow them to maintain their essential benefits. An estate planning specialist from Alder Law Group can sit down with you, learn about your family’s special needs, and then craft a tailored plan to achieve your objectives.
How will my child be cared for after I’m gone?
Parents of disabled children often express concern about the care of their child after the parents’ death. Leaving an inheritance to them can be quite tricky, however. Important government benefits that many disabled persons receive, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), vocational training, and housing, are based upon means-testing using asset limits designed by Congress to be very limiting. When a (physically or mentally) disabled person receives an inheritance, whether of cash or other assets, their access to benefits and care can be jeopardized, even for a relatively small inheritance that would not, in actuality, cover their long-term needs.
For SSI, for example, a recipient’s asset limit is $2,000: any more, and benefits are revoked. Certain programs such as vocational training or transportation programs require Medicaid eligibility even if the disabled person elects not to receive Medicaid, so preserving this eligibility is useful in other unanticipated ways as well.
LONG TERM PLANNING FOR A SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD
By establishing a special needs trust, you can leave funds to your disabled child and ensure they continue to receive SSI, etc. Because the long-term needs of your child may be very expensive, anything but an extremely sizable inheritance will likely not provide for all their needs for the rest of their life. A special needs trust is designed to provide care above and beyond what government benefits are able to provide. (Even though the government benefits are important, they seldom meet all of an individual’s needs).
When you set up a special needs trust, funds are deposited to the trust account as you specify and other property that you specify is titled in the name of the trust, and administered by a trustee that you appoint. The trustee is responsible to disburse funds to help the disabled beneficiary with non-basic needs (beyond food and shelter) and improve their enjoyment and quality of life. Your loved one might need an accessible vehicle, upgrades to their home, assisted living, additional education, or a service animal. She may have special preferences, hobbies, and interests that you can include in the trust provisions as well.
As an added benefit, a special needs trust set up by a third party (not the beneficiary) is not subject to chargeback by the government for benefits received, so the remainder of the trust upon the death of the beneficiary can be distributed outright to your own designated remainder beneficiaries, such as other children or grandchildren. You may establish a special needs trust that takes effect either during your lifetime or after your death. A special needs trust can be established and funded by parents, grandparents, or others.
Free Consultation with a Special Needs Trust Lawyer
When you need help with a special needs trust, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
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Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City, Utah
|City of Salt Lake City
“The Crossroads of the West”
|Great Salt Lake
|Erin Mendenhall (D)
|110.81 sq mi (286.99 km2)
|110.34 sq mi (285.77 km2)
|0.47 sq mi (1.22 km2)
|4,327 ft (1,288 m)
|122nd in the United States
1st in Utah
|1,797.52/sq mi (701.84/km2)
| • Urban
|1,021,243 (US: 42nd)
| • Metro
|1,257,936 (US: 47th)
| • CSA
|2,606,548 (US: 22nd)
|• Summer (DST)
|GNIS feature ID
|Salt Lake City International Airport
|Salt Lake City Government
Salt Lake City (often shortened to Salt Lake and abbreviated as SLC) is the capital and most populous city of Utah, as well as the seat of Salt Lake County, the most populous county in Utah. With a population of 199,723 in 2020, the city is the core of the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, which had a population of 1,257,936 at the 2020 census. Salt Lake City is further situated within a larger metropolis known as the Salt Lake City–Ogden–Provo Combined Statistical Area, a corridor of contiguous urban and suburban development stretched along a 120-mile (190 km) segment of the Wasatch Front, comprising a population of 2,606,548 (as of 2018 estimates), making it the 22nd largest in the nation. It is also the central core of the larger of only two major urban areas located within the Great Basin (the other being Reno, Nevada).
Salt Lake City was founded July 24, 1847, by early pioneer settlers, led by Brigham Young, who were seeking to escape persecution they had experienced while living farther east. The Mormon pioneers, as they would come to be known, entered a semi-arid valley and immediately began planning and building an extensive irrigation network which could feed the population and foster future growth. Salt Lake City’s street grid system is based on a standard compass grid plan, with the southeast corner of Temple Square (the area containing the Salt Lake Temple in downtown Salt Lake City) serving as the origin of the Salt Lake meridian. Owing to its proximity to the Great Salt Lake, the city was originally named Great Salt Lake City. In 1868, the word “Great” was dropped from the city’s name.
Immigration of international members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, mining booms, and the construction of the first transcontinental railroad initially brought economic growth, and the city was nicknamed “The Crossroads of the West”. It was traversed by the Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinental highway, in 1913. Two major cross-country freeways, I-15 and I-80, now intersect in the city. The city also has a belt route, I-215.
Salt Lake City has developed a strong tourist industry based primarily on skiing and outdoor recreation. It hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics. It is known for its politically progressive and diverse culture, which stands at contrast with the rest of the state’s conservative leanings. It is home to a significant LGBT community and hosts the annual Utah Pride Festival. It is the industrial banking center of the United States. Salt Lake City and the surrounding area are also the location of several institutions of higher education including the state’s flagship research school, the University of Utah. Sustained drought in Utah has more recently strained Salt Lake City’s water security and caused the Great Salt Lake level drop to record low levels, and impacting the state’s economy, of which the Wasatch Front area anchored by Salt Lake City constitutes 80%.