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Do you have a child or grandchild who is on social security disability or Medicaid?  If yes, leaving assets to them as part of your estate plan may have the unintended consequence of “kicking them off” their important government benefits.  Eligibility for public assistance usually mandates that a disabled individual holds very limited resources, typically less than $2,000. If a disabled individual who is receiving public benefits has resources in excess of $2,000, eligibility for public benefits may be at risk. 

supplemental needs trust is designed to provide benefits to, and protect the assets of, physically or mentally disabled people. Your estate plan can provide that a supplemental needs trust be set up for a disabled beneficiary. This trust still allows your beneficiary to qualify for and receive governmental health care benefits, such as long-term nursing or home care benefits and Supplemental Security Disability.

An experienced elder law attorney can help you make assets available for a disabled beneficiary without making these additional assets diminish any eligibility for social welfare or government benefit programs, such as Medicaid. A supplemental needs trust is funded with assets belonging to someone other than the person with a disability, such as by a parent or grandparent. This trust provides additional financial resources that supplement a disabled person’s public benefits, further enhancing their quality of life.

Longstreet Elder Law & Estate Planning, P.C. can work with your family to help you create a supplemental needs trust to maximize a loved one’s public benefits while ensuring that the individual also receives the maximum benefits from this trust.