Planning for Families With Special Needs Children
Parents often worry about what the future holds for their children. When their children have special needs, their apprehensions are often intensified, as children with disabilities may lack the means to ensure their own well-being. Luckily, there are measures that parents can employ to help secure their children’s health, comfort, and security going forward. If you want to learn more about planning for families with special needs children, you should talk to an attorney about your options. The dedicated LaGrange estate planning lawyers of Wilson & Wilson Estate Planning & Elder Law LLC can evaluate your situation and offer guidance on what estate planning tools are available to help you ensure your child is adequately cared for, for the rest of their life. We regularly aid people with estate planning matters in LaGrange and other cities throughout Illinois.Planning for Families With Special Needs Children
Many special needs children are eligible to receive government benefits, but such benefits are typically insufficient to meet their needs. If they inherit money from their parent's estates, though, they may lose the right to receive such benefits, leaving them with inadequate means to take care of themselves. Fortunately, parents of children with special needs can protect their children’s right to receive government benefits and provide them with supplemental funds for their care by creating special needs trusts.
Under Illinois law, a special needs trust, or a trust for a beneficiary with a disability, is a trust created for the benefit of a person with a physical or mental disability that qualifies them for government benefits. Illinois sets forth guidelines for establishing special needs trusts that must be strictly followed; otherwise, it may impact the beneficiary’s ability to receive government benefits.
There are three different types of special needs trusts: third-party special needs trusts, self-settled special needs trusts, and pooled special needs trusts. Third-party special needs trusts, which are trusts a party creates for someone else’s benefit, are the most common. They can be funded in a number of ways, but in most cases, the parents will fund the special needs trusts they create for their children.
Third-party special needs trusts, the most common kind of special needs trusts, are essentially special needs trusts one party creates for the benefit of another, like a child or family member. They can be funded in a variety of ways; typically, parents will fund special needs trusts for their children.
On the other hand, self-settled special trusts are funded with the beneficiary’s assets. Self-settled special needs trusts are only available for people under the age of 65. Although the beneficiary’s assets are used to fund self-settled special needs trusts, they still must be created by a third party, like a guardian or parent. Additionally, the terms of the trust must dictate that any assets that remain in the trust after the beneficiary’s death must be paid to Medicaid in the amount of the benefits the beneficiary received.
Pooled special needs trusts are also funded using the beneficiary’s assets. They differ from self-settled trusts, though, in that pooled trusts are created for the benefit of numerous parties. Specifically, multiple beneficiaries will pool their assets to fund the trust collectively. Notably, the assets are only pooled for administrative purposes and remain in separate accounts within the trust.Meet With a LaGrange Estate Planning Attorney Today
Children with special needs are often unable to provide for themselves, but there are estate planning tools, like special needs trusts, that can provide parents with peace of mind about their special needs children’s future. If you have a special needs child and want to take steps to protect their interests, it is wise to meet with an attorney as soon as possible. The skilled LaGrange attorneys of Wilson & Wilson Estate Planning & Elder Law LLC have ample experience engaging in planning for families with special needs children, and if you hire us, we will work diligently to help you meet your goals. We regularly aid people with their estate planning issues in Cook County, including Chicago, Arlington Heights, Cicero, Hoffman Estates, Mount Prospect, Palatine, Schaumburg, Evanston, Skokie, and Tinley Park, DuPage County, including Naperville, Aurora, and Wheaton, and Lake County including Buffalo Grove, Mundelein, Highland Park, and Waukegan. Our main office is in LaGrange, and we have a second office in Northbrook. We have satellite offices in Orland Park and Warrenville, where we are available by appointment, as well. You can contact us through our form online or at our LaGrange office at (708) 482-7090 or our Northbrook Office at (847) 656-8958 to set up a meeting.