Planning for a Special Needs Beneficiary in Virginia

Special needsIf you are planning to leave assets to a child or other beneficiary with special needs, one of the first things you should consider is the use of a supplemental needs trust.

We plan our estates to ensure our loved ones will be okay after we are gone. If a loved one has mental or physical special needs, then your estate planning needs some special planning itself. So what more should you do to ensure the happiness and wellbeing of your child with special needs?

Special planning is, of course, very much tied to the needs of your child with special needs and to the needs of the rest of your family. As you might imagine, such planning entails important tools, rules and guides. To get started, consider a recent article in The Slott Report titled “3 Tips When Planning for a Special Needs Child.

One of the keys to special needs planning is understanding how public assistance aid works and its sources. Generally, the two major sources are Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. Both programs are “needs-based.” In other words, eligibility to receive benefits is all about qualifying financially, preserving that qualification, and ensuring a painless transition (read: not getting caught in bureaucracy).

Tip #1: Consider implementing the all-important Special Needs Trust. Properly drafted and funded, this is a special trust designed to offer security and care, without endangering needs-based program benefits.

Tip #2: Plan ahead and plan carefully! These public assistance benefits may not be enough or offer as much security as you would want to ensure. In fact, you might want to find a way to leave more behind. Life insurance is an excellent option.

Tip #3: What’s the final tip? You need to plan for yourself, too, and for your entire estate. As important as your loved one with special needs is, you have to ensure that the rest of your plans work together, too. For example, make sure to plan for threats to your own financial security, like high long-term care costs in old age. Without proper planning now, all could be lost later. In the end, if there is no security for you, then there may be no future security for your loved ones.

The original article has a bit more to chew on, with some helpful pointers to get you moving in the right direction.

You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: special needs planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.

Reference: The Slott Report (November 20, 2013) “3 Tips When Planning for a Special Needs Child


Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment


We have a LOT more where that came from!

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

Call Now ButtonCall Us Now https://jsfiddle.net/7h5246b8/

Request a free consultation

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.