Why Improper Planning For A Child With A Disability Can Be Catastrophic.

     Most people go through life and do not often think about planning for the future and what that might look like.  Oftentimes, when people finally get around to planning, they don’t take the necessary time to truly understand the intricacies and the consequences of decisions, but rather want to get something done for the sake of being done.  

     An individual with a disability who is receiving public benefits from the government cannot receive an outright inheritance or they will lose their entitlement to their government benefits.  However, many parents do not completely understand this concept and since they have three children, they’re going to provide for their children equally regardless.  It is imperative if you have a child with a disability or special needs that you seek expert counsel in order to fully understand what the implications of giving money outright to that individual could be now and in the future.  

     It is very easy and straightforward to be able to provide for an individual with a disability by placing money in a special needs trust.  This will allow that individual to continue to receive the money from the parent but also receive the government benefit that they’re currently getting.  This is my example of “having your cake and eating it too.”  While not necessarily overly difficult, it is essential that you work with an estate planning and elder law attorney who does special needs trust on a regular basis.  There are many easy pitfalls that someone can fall into and it is easy to make a mistake in this arena.  If you have a special needs child, please take the time to fully understand how you can protect that individual and the inheritance in the future as well as still providing them any government benefits that they may be entitled to.  

     If you would like to learn more about special needs trust planning, please contact the office at 717-845-5390, to learn more about our workshop for families with individuals with disabilities and how to plan for them. We look forward to seeing you in the future.  


jeffrey bellomo

Jeffrey R. Bellomo, Esquire is a Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation under authorization of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. As the owner of Bellomo & Associates, LLC he advises families about the legal challenges facing them today. He counsels clients and provides solutions on: Asset Protection, Special Needs Trusts, Wills, Trust Design, Guardianships, Medicaid and Estate Planning & Administration. His mission is to provide professional caring service to all his clients.

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