Most people would like to set up an estate plan to make it easier to provide for the family after they’re gone. When one is disabled, however, it’s important to carefully structure this plan to provide for that individual as well. This holds particularly true if a person is eligible for government assistance because receiving an inheritance may force them to spend those assets before receiving benefits.
Creating an Estate Plan When a Beneficiary Is Disabled
Planning an estate when a beneficiary is disabled is a complex process; disabled beneficiaries have different needs, which must be understood when planning an estate. It’s important to consider the following factors:
• To have a familiarity with the person’s disability
• To understand the person’s limitations and abilities
• To learn about the person’s future needs and what type of care they’ll need
• To find out what government help they may receive
• To determine whether the person will need more help, and what their condition may be in the future
A plan created with the help of an estate planning lawyer in Gig Harbor WA can help people maximize resources available to a disabled family member without damaging their ability to receive government assistance. While avoiding probate court and saving on taxes, the key goal is to keep the family’s assets from being considered an “inheritance” against the beneficiary’s government benefits.
The simplest option is disinheriting the disabled individual completely. Although this may seem as if it doesn’t make sense, a disinheritance allows the disabled family member to receive benefits like Medicaid while being supported by family members. Such a plan would leave the estate to the disabled person’s siblings and impose them to spend a portion of the money on the person’s care; however, that portion of the estate can be reduced by factors like:
• Creditor seizure
• A failure of the siblings to fulfill their duties
Planning an estate can be difficult, especially when considering the needs of someone who is disabled. An estate planning lawyer in Gig Harbor WA can help families predict what issues may arise, and they can ensure that the planner clearly expresses their intent. By hiring a lawyer through , a person can ensure that their wishes are followed even after they are gone.