A Westport special needs planning lawyer can provide you with help making plans to provide for a relative who is disabled. It’s important that you do not just provide an inheritance or a financial gift to someone with a disabling condition unless and until you understand the ways in which that gift could affect the benefits the disabled person might be receiving.
Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates can work with you to understand the implications of providing an inheritance to a loved one with special needs. We can help you to determine if medical benefits and other means-tested benefits could be jeopardized by the gift that you provide.
We can also assist you in taking concrete steps to structure the inheritance or gift you provide to your disabled relative so you can ensure your loved one has the money necessary to enhance his or her quality of life without losing important benefits. Give us a call today to find out about how our legal team can help you.
How to Provide for a Disabled Loved One Without Jeopardizing Medical Benefits
A financial gift or an inheritance provided to a loved one with a disability could put medical coverage at risk if the disabled person receives benefits through Medicaid. Many people who are disabled cannot work and thus don’t have access to employer-provided insurance coverage and cannot afford to pay for private health insurance coverage. As a result, it is common for people who have serious disabilities to be covered by Medicaid.
Medicaid coverage can help disabled people to pay far less for medical services, not just because they don’t have to pay premiums but also because Medicaid is specifically targeted towards low-income people so other costs like copays and coinsurance expenditures are either low or nonexistent.
Unfortunately, having too many financial resources can result in disqualification from Medicaid. This means if you make a financial gift to a disabled person, either during your life or as part of an inheritance, the money or property could cause the disabled person to suddenly have too many assets to remain eligible for Medicaid.
If the disabled person loses benefits because of the inheritance, this would typically leave him or her with no choice but to pay out of pocket for the care. If the disabled person is receiving expensive care, the entire inheritance that was provided to him could be spent in weeks or months on the costs of medical treatment. The disabled person would essentially need to impoverish himself again by spending the inheritance on medical expenses and only then could he qualify for Medicaid again.
This could be avoided if you worked with a Westport special needs planning lawyer to ensure that the inheritance or gift you provide to a relative with a disability does not count towards determining eligibility for Medicaid benefits. You can do this by creating a special needs trust and transferring the assets into the trust instead of transferring them directly. Not only does this allow you to ensure that access to means-tested medical benefits is protected but it also ensures that you can select a trusted person to manage assets in the trust on behalf of the disabled individual.
Getting help from a Westport Special Needs Planning Lawyer
A Westport special needs planning lawyer will assist you in determining what steps you need to take to ensure your disabled relative is provided for either through a gift or through an inheritance. We can help you to create a special needs trust that will allow you to offer generous financial support to enhance your relative’s quality of life.
We can work with you to ensure that you choose the right person to manage the trust, that the trust document is set up appropriately to ensure trust assets are used in the best way possible, and to ensure that the trust provides the protections you expect.
To find out more about how our compassionate and knowledgeable legal team can help you with creating a special needs plan, join us for a free seminar . You can also give us a call at 860-548-1000 or contact us online at any time to get your personalized special needs plan underway to provide for the disabled person in your life.