Proper estate planning is imperative when you have a beneficiary who gets certain government benefits (like Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income) because of a disability.
Those benefits have strict eligibility requirements, with both an income and financial resource limit to qualify. To qualify in Georgia, a person can have no more than $2,000 of countable resources. If that person has or acquires more than this limit, their government benefits will be reduced, suspended, or canceled.
A third-party special needs trust allows you to leave the person an inheritance while keeping their benefits intact. The assets are owned by the trust instead of the individual, so they do not “count” for eligibility purposes.
A third-party special needs trust can be the beneficiary on a life insurance policy or retirement account. The trust can also own real estate or accounts. When the beneficiary passes away, the government is not entitled to reimbursement. Instead, the assets that remain in trust can be distributed to the people of your choosing.
Every situation is unique, and we tailor our services to best suit our clients’ needs. For more information about Georgia special needs trusts, speak with an experienced Atlanta estate planning attorney at our office today.