Our Naperville special needs attorney are knowledgeable, cost-effective and friendly. If you or your loved ones are receiving disability benefits, our Naperville attorneys can help you in preparing a supplemental needs trust. This will allow you to accumulate assets, earn an income and receive inheritances and gifts without affecting your benefits.
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Naperville Special Needs Attorneys
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Naperville special needs attorney Kevin O'Flaherty explains the process of special needs planning in Illinois.
Our Naperville special needs attorneys are happy to work with you and your family to create a Supplemental Needs trust, commonly known as a Special Needs Trust. It will permit your disabled loved one to gain assets, own property, earn an income or receive inheritances and gifts without affecting his or her government benefits.
There are limits to the number of assets you can own and the amount of monthly income you can receive before it affects or reduces your benefits. This does not mean that you need to live in poverty to be allowed to receive government benefits. You can or your loved one can maintain a good standard of living without reducing benefits by establishing a Special Needs Trust.
How Can a Special Needs Trust Help Me?A Special Needs Trust is a legal entity separate from the disabled beneficiary, that can own property on behalf of the disabled beneficiary. First the disabled beneficiary or a loved one will work with our DuPage special needs lawyers to prepare and execute the trust. While the trust will usually own a bank account into which it can deposit income and gifts intended for the beneficiary, Special Needs Trusts can also own vehicles and real estate. Assets owned by your Special Needs Trust or deposited directly into the trust upon receipt do not count as assets or income for the purpose of most government benefit programs. This means that the beneficiary of the trust can accumulate unlimited wealth, earn an income, or receive gifts and inheritances from family members without reducing his or her government benefits.
How Does a Special Needs Trust work?
So what's the catch? There are a few limitations imposed upon assets owned by a Special Needs Trust, but they are not particularly onerous:
Estate Planning Benefits of a Special Needs Trust?
While the main purpose of a Special Needs Trust is usually to allow you to accumulate assets without disrupting your government benefits, Special Needs Trusts also provide all of the estate planning benefits of a traditional Revocable Living Trust. A Special Needs Trust will allow you to provide for the distribution of your assets at your death, appoint a trustee to manage the distribution of those assets, and ensure that your estate will avoid a costly and time-consuming probate case when you pass.
How Should I Incorporate My Child's Special Needs Trust Into My Own Estate Plan?Many of our clients who have a disabled child are not concerned with that child accumulating income or assets during his or her lifetime, but are worried that when the disabled child receives an inheritance, his or her government benefits will be disrupted. In this situation, the parents of a child with a disability should incorporate a Special Needs Trust for their child into their own estate plan.
If the child is named as a direct beneficiary in the parents' will or trust, or if the parents do not have a will or trust, the child will have the choice of either giving up the inheritance or losing his or her government benefits. However, if the parents create a Special Needs Trust ahead of time and name that trust, as opposed to the child directly, as a beneficiary of their own will or trust, the inheritance will pass directly to the child's Special Needs Trust upon the death of the parents, and the child's government benefits will not be negatively affected.
Illinois special needs attorney Kevin O'Flaherty explains how supplemental needs trusts and Illinois ABLE Act accounts can be used to ensure that you or your loved one with a disability is able to receive gifts, inheritances, and income without jeopardizing entitlement to government benefits.
In this article, our Naperville special needs attorneys discuss the process of adding a home to a Special Needs Trust and the benefits from not counting it as an asset when calculating Supplemental Security Income. There are certain types of items that Special Needs Trust are allowed to pay for and things that aren't allowed under the rules, which are covered in this article. SSI can be used to pay for groceries, shelter, utilities and mortgage payments, so in effect, money from a trust can't be used for these.