If your New Jersey family cares for a loved one with special needs, you understand the complexities and costs that come with this responsibility. You may worry about what will happen after you are no longer around to take care of your loved one, but there are ways that you can plan for his or her care long into the future. There are specific estate planning tools that could benefit you.
One of the ways that you can plan for the care of this specific family member is through a special needs trust. This allows you the opportunity to set aside money and protect assets that will ensure he or she has care and support. A will is not necessarily sufficient to protect your interests when it comes to planning for the care and support of a special needs individual.
The estate planning tool you need
A special needs trust is specifically for the benefit of a person who cannot make decisions regarding his or her own care due to a lack of mental capacity. These trusts can be used to make sure your loved one gets appropriate care, food, housing and continued support according to his or her specific needs. You may consider the following about these specific types of trusts:
- The money in a special needs trust will not affect a person's eligibility for government benefits or housing.
- Any funds in a special needs trust are not subject to disbursement to other parties after a judgment against you in a civil claim.
- You can name a beneficiary to oversee the distribution of the assets in the special needs trust.
If you have a special needs child or you are caring for a loved one who cannot manage his or her affairs, there is no time to lose to ensure your estate plan meets your current and future needs.
What do you need in your plan?
Your situation is unique, and your estate plan should be uniquely suited to your individual needs. If you believe that a special needs trust is the right course of action to you, it is smart to seek a complete evaluation of your case and your current estate plan.
Life is constantly changing, and sometimes, these changes merit an adjustment in an estate plan. Whether you need to draft a will or create a trust for a specific family member, it is prudent to take quick action on these important matters.