If you have special needs family members such as an elderly parent, child or grandchild, it is important to account for those needs when creating an estate plan. It may be possible to create trusts that will hold assets on their behalf. This may allow them to have money or other assets without losing the ability to collect Medicaid or other financial assistance.
How Trusts Help Special Needs Family Members
To qualify for Medicaid, an individual needs to have less than $2,000 in assets. Otherwise, that individual may need to deplete their assets to cover the cost of hospital stays or meet other care needs. By holding assets in a trust, an individual can have access to items without owning them directly. This means that special needs family members can still gain access to residential communities, wheelchairs or other items without having to pay for them.
Make Sure Family Members Know About the Trust
It is important that family members know that they should make gifts to the trust instead of to the disabled person. Even if a gift is made in error, it could still jeopardize a person’s ability to receive government benefits. Losing such assistance could result in a parent having to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars per month in health care and other costs.
Legal Assistance May Be Available
It may be a good idea for a parent or grandparent of a special needs person to talk to an estate planning attorney in Las Vegas. This may allow an individual to determine how an estate plan should be created and learn how to craft a will or trust in accordance with state law.