Still thinking about New Year resolutions? Think beyond the usual “I’m going to lose weight, exercise more, and get healthy” resolutions and commit to one you can keep with just a small amount of effort.
Give Funds to Disabled Family Members the Right Way
Estate planning is important to make sure your wishes are carried out when you die. but it is also important to take care of living family members (including yourself in case you become disabled).
If you have a disabled family member, chances are good that you would like to leave money to take care of that person’s needs when you die. You likely also want the person to receive any government benefits that he or she is eligible to get. Finally, you probably would like for any money that remains when the disabled person dies to go to other family members. These goals are possible, but only if you prepare your estate plan correctly.
Don’t Endanger Current or Future Government Benefits
If you give money directly to the disabled person or through your will, he or she can lose eligibility for government benefits or even lose existing benefits. The better way to provide for disabled loved ones is to use a supplemental needs trust, also called a special needs trust. This type of trust can hold assets that you want to give the disabled person and does not cause the person to lose government benefits. This trust allows you to create a plan that uses your money to supplement government benefits to cover additional needs of your loved one.
Using Your Own Assets For Your Care
In Alabama, if you become disabled and need long-term skilled facility care, you can create a supplemental needs trust for yourself. This type of trust has slightly different requirements than if you are leaving assets for a loved one. However, the trust still allows you to use your assets to supplement what Medicaid pays for monthly nursing home charges, and the trust funds can greatly improve the quality of your life.
Team Your Attorney with Alabama Family Trust
Because federal and state laws heavily regulate these trusts, you should consult with an attorney who is familiar with elder law and supplemental needs trusts. But don’t let that worry you. Just seek a good attorney, and let the attorney worry about preparing it correctly.
When preparing your trust, your attorney will ask who should manage the trust. That is where Alabama Family Trust comes in. Alabama Family Trust is a non-profit 501(c)(3), company established by the Alabama legislature to manage supplemental needs trusts. Alabama Family Trust handles big and small trusts (as low as $1500) which allows you to create a trust for a loved one even if you are leaving limited assets for the person.
Once your estate plan and trust are prepared, you should be able to relax and know that you can check off the resolution to provide for your family’s future.