All parents worry about their children’s physical, emotional, and financial well-being. If you are the parent of a child with special needs, however, those concerns take on a heightened importance. For example, you may want to continue to help support your child when he/she reaches adulthood as well as ensure that your child has sufficient financial resources available in the event something happens to you. You cannot just gift assets to your child though because it could create more problems than it solves. At Slaton Schauer Law Firm, PLLC we understand the desire to care for and protect your child with special needs and we are committed to helping you do so within your comprehensive estate plan.
Why Is Planning Important?
Your child can look forward to living a much more independent life as an adult than would have been possible only a few years ago; however, he or she may continue to depend on specialized medical and/or therapeutic care as an adult. If you have the financial resources to continue helping your child as an adult, you may want to do so. The problem is, that giving your child money, or other assets, could jeopardize his/her eligibility for assistance programs such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These programs have both income and asset limits. Once your child is legally considered an adult any financial help you offer could count against those limits, potentially causing the lose of important benefits.
Special Needs Planning Can Help
Fortunately, there are ways to continue to help your child without jeopardizing his/her eligibility for state and federal assistance programs. The key is to include Special Needs Planning in your estate plan. For many parents in your position, that includes creating a special kind of trust that can protect assets you want your child to have. It also ensures that the money or assets held in the trust are only used to help supplement the assistance your child receives from government programs. Best of all, you do not have to worry that trying to help financially could backfire and result in your child being disqualified for important assistance programs.
Texas Special Needs Planning Resources
Texas Health and Human Services – Programs for Children and Adults with Disabilities
Texas Health and Human Services – Medicaid for Children and Adults with Disabilities
Social Security Administration – Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
The special needs planning attorneys at Slaton Schauer Law Firm, PLLC look forward to helping you incorporate a special needs planning component into your overall estate plan. Contact our Cedar Park office today by calling 512-258-9455 or filling out our online contact form.