Massachusetts Special Needs Planning

If you are currently a caregiver for a child or loved one with special needs (such as mental or physical disabilities), you must have likely considered what may happen to them when you are no longer able to provide care.

Special Needs Planning, Vickstrom Law, Worcester, MATraditional estate planning can see to it that the special needs person receives financial support, such a bequest may prevent them from qualifying for essential benefits under certain governmental programs. However, these public monetary benefits provide only for the bare necessities such as food, housing and clothing. These limited benefits will not provide those loved ones with the resources that would allow them to enjoy a richer quality of life. Fortunately, the government has established rules allowing assets to be held in trust, called a Special Needs Trust or a Supplemental Needs Trust, for a recipient of SSI and Medicaid, as long as certain requirements are met.

Planning today and for the future can ensure the highest quality of life for your child with special needs.  Different options available can help families manage funds while also preserving a child’s eligibility for public benefits.  An experienced Special Needs Planner, like Attorney Kristina Vickstrom, can help you devise the best solution for your child, or loved one.

Special Needs Trusts and Supplemental Needs Trusts hold assets to enhance the quality of life for those on governmental assistance such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability (SSDI.) The trust directs the trustee to use the trust funds to supplement, and not supplant, services the beneficiary already receives so that income and services are not reduced.

The Special Needs Trust can be used for a variety of life-enhancing expenditures without compromising your loved ones’ eligibility such as:Vickstrom Law, Special Needs Planning, Worcester, MA

  • Annual check-ups at an independent medical facility
  • Attendance of religious services
  • Supplemental education and tutoring
  • Out-of-pocket medical and dental expenses
  • Transportation (including purchase of a vehicle)
  • Maintenance of vehicles
  • Purchase materials for a hobby or recreation activity
  • Funds for trips or vacations
  • Funds for entertainment such as movies, shows or ballgames.
  • Purchase of goods and services that add pleasure and quality to life: computers, videos, furniture, or electronics.
  • Athletic training or competitions
  • Special dietary needs
  • Personal care attendant or companion

Special Needs Trusts are a critical component of your estate planning if you have disabled beneficiaries for whom you wish to provide after your passing. Please contact us today to learn more about Special Needs Planning, or schedule a consultation.