TRANSCRIPT: Hi, I’m attorney Sarah Siedentopf. I practice estate planning and probate in Atlanta, Georgia. Do I need a trust if one of my beneficiaries has special needs or may foreseeably in the future be on asset-based assistance for special needs? Keep in mind things like Medicaid are asset-based and cover very important services for those with those particular needs. If you give gifts directly — money, property, anything of value — it is likely to kick the recipient out of eligibility because they will be over asseted and you will end up spending those assets for the care that Medicaid was providing and it will be a huge headache for them getting back into the program and ultimately this will not help. The solution to this is a Special Needs Trust which is specifically drafted to avoid these issues. If one of your beneficiaries is likely to be in this situation, you will not want to just give them money outright and you should strongly consider a trust. If you’ve got more questions about this, I’d love to hear from you.
Do I Need a Trust series – Quick Links:
- Do I Need a Trust (part 1) – Trusts and Privacy
- Do I Need a Trust (part 2) – Trusts and Avoiding Probate
- Do I Need a Trust (part 3) – Trusts and Protecting Assets During a Divorce
- Do I Need a Trust (part 4) – Managing Assets through Trusts
- Do I Need a Trust (part 5) – Trusts for Beneficiaries with Special Needs
- Do I Need a Trust (part 6) – Creditor Protection for Your Beneficiaries