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How an inheritance could impact special needs assistance

You want to do all you can to help your child, who has special needs. You know there are benefits and government aid programs.

One key thing to avoid is giving the child assets that may accidentally disqualify him or her. In many cases, experts note that a person with over $2,000 in assets won't qualify at the state or federal level.

For example, perhaps your own parents want to help out. They write the child into the will, leaving him or her $10,000.

It's a nice gesture, but the reality is that benefits that were already approved while your parents were alive could then be lost when they pass away and that $10,000 goes to the child. Suddenly, the child has "too much" money and can't get aid.

One way to get around this is to set up a special needs trust. Any money left for the child goes into this trust. It's technically owned by the trust and distributed by the trustee, so your child doesn't own the assets at all. This way, the child still qualifies for benefits and also gets to use the money from the trust, which is paid out as required. You can set up the best payment system depending on the child's needs.

As you can see, something you assumed would be helpful and useful could actually undermine your own efforts and work in the opposite way you were planning. Never make any assumptions when it comes to assets and government aid. If you have any questions, our website offers a lot of helpful information.

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