If you currently provide care for a child or loved one with special needs (some one with a mental or physical disability), you must have contemplated with concern about what may happen to them when you are no longer able to provide and care for them.
While you can certainly provide that they receive money and assets in your will, such a bequest may prevent them from qualifying for essential benefits under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid programs. However, public monetary benefits provide only for the bare necessities such as food and housing. As you can imagine, these limited benefits will not provide those loved ones with the resources that would allow them to enjoy a richer quality of life. But if parents leave any assets to their child who is receiving public benefits, they run the risk of disqualifying the child from receiving them. Fortunately, the government has established rules allowing assets to be held in trust, called a “ Special Needs Trust”or “Supplemental Needs Trust” for a recipient of SSI and Medicaid, as long as certain requirements are met.