Saturday, April 11, 2015

Caring for Special Needs Relatives with a Supplemental Needs Trust

Courtesy Kari Reine
In common usage, "special needs" often refers to conditions first recognized in childhood, such as Down Syndrome, autism, or cerebral palsy.  In estate planning, “special needs” encompasses a broader range of conditions including developmental disabilities, but also age-related conditions, physical disabilities, mental illness, diseases, and any other conditions that could qualify a family member for current or future government benefits.  It is absolutely crucial that people who have special needs family members obtain an estate plan tailored to their unique needs.  Below is an example of how a failure to plan for special needs children could be disastrous for a family's financial future (and how better planning could have prevented the situation):