By, Jody Hudspeth, Paralegal for The Law Offices of Carol Bertsch, PC
One of the many hats I wear as a paralegal is answering phone calls and emails from concerned loved ones and caregivers. This column, “The Elder Law Askit Basket”, features some of the scenarios we hear on a frequent basis. If you have a question you’d like to see answered here, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
My husband and I have a 32-year-old disabled son. My friend who’s also a social worker says I should set up a trust for him. Is this something your office can help me with?
You are right to talk to an elder law attorney about planning ahead for a disabled child, whether he’s a minor or an adult. You and your spouse will need to do some special estate planning to ensure his inheritance doesn’t disqualify him from his public benefits.
There are a variety of ways we can help your family. You may do a Will with a special needs trust in it that goes into effect when you die. Alternatively, you may set up a special needs trust while you are alive that you can fund for him now. This way, other people can leave money to the trust, or they can put money in it now without jeopardizing his benefits.
I hope you found my answer helpful. If you’d like to discuss your situation further, please contact us to schedule an appointment.