All Colorado families are different. Some families are traditional and have a mom, dad and two kids; other families feature only one parent with one or more kids. Regardless of the family structure, concerned parents plan for their children’s well-being. When children with special needs are involved, this special needs planning becomes even more critical.
Children with special needs often require care even into adulthood. As long as the parents are able to provide this care, this typically does not pose a problem. However, if the parents are no longer able to care for the individual due to death, illness or other reason, the burden of care can fall upon another family member or the special needs individual may end up being placed with an institutional setting.
Under traditional circumstances, parents will often transfer assets to their children through the use of a will. However, with special needs children, it is likely that they are eligible to receive government benefits. A sudden change in their financial position can cause them to lose this eligibility.
Many parents find that a special needs trust is the answer to this dilemma. With a special needs trust, assets remain in the trust and are used on behalf of the individual as needed. The trustee responsible for the trust manages the details and the trust account. Since the individual never actually receives the assets individually, government benefit eligibility is not affected.
Special needs children require special needs planning on the part of the parents. An experienced attorney can assist in determining the appropriate strategy based upon the family circumstances and needs. In addition to formulating this strategy one will want to review current Colorado state and federal laws and how they affect the individual.
Source: estate.findlaw.com, “Special Needs Trusts FAQ’s“, Accessed on March 28, 2018