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Making plans to care for your special needs loved ones

For New Jersey families caring for loved ones with special needs, the future can be a complex and daunting prospect. Through certain estate planning tools, you can make sure your family has the right plans in place to provide for specific members of your family after your passing. One way to do this is by creating a special needs trust. 

A special needs trust is a specific type of estate planning tool that will allow you to set aside and preserve certain assets for the benefit of a loved one who cannot care for himself or herself. While you cannot predict what will happen down the road, this step can allow you to have a measure of security regarding the care of your loved one. If you do not have plans in place, you would be wise to take quick action to do so.

What do you need to know about this type of trust? 

Many people believe that leaving money for a special needs loved one in a will is sufficient. However, this is not the best way to provide for a person who has special needs. Assets transferred through a will could compromise a person's eligibility for government benefits and cause other complications. Through a special needs trust, you can do the following to specifically care for and provide for someone who will need care for years to come: 

  • Assets and money in a trust will not compromise a person's ability to secure government housing, medical benefits and other types of important benefits.
  • You will get to name someone to act as trustee who will oversee the distribution of the assets in the special needs trust.
  • Money left in the trust can pay for things such as food, clothing, daily needs and extra support a person may need. 

The terminology used when creating a special needs trust is important. It is in your interests to be thoughtful when drafting any documents as part of your complete estate plan

Why experience matters

When there are problems with the creation of a trust, it can lead to complications for beneficiaries of the trust. It is prudent to work with a legal professional specifically experienced in drafting the right types of estate planning documents you need for your own security and that of your loved ones. It might be helpful for you to seek an explanation of your options before you move forward.

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