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When a Will is not enough

Published October 25, 2008

Using only your Will to leave benefits to a child with special needs may actually work against their future financial security. Gifts and funds that are Willed directly to an individual can in reality become an asset for the state. Since such funds are considered to be income, they may cause your loved one to lose government benefits such as Medicaid and Social Security.

This reality has led some parents to intentionally disinherit a child with a disability in order to protect the child’s benefits. Disinheriting a child is not a viable solution since they depend on you for much more than just financial security. Instead, consult an attorney about setting up a supplemental needs trust. Money willed to a trust can be disbursed by a trustee and will not affect your child’s ability to receive government benefits.

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