Wills: Beware When the Legatee Is Disabled & On Government Benefits

It is natural for parents and grandparents of disabled children that are on government benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), to want to provide for that child in the event of death. However, it is important to remember that many government benefits, including SSI, are needs-based programs. This means that there are limits to how many assets a person can have to remain eligible for the program.

Inheritance & Government Benefits

An inheritance can disqualify a person on government benefits, including SSI. Depending on the size of the inheritance, the person could be disqualified for a long period of time and have to start the application process all over again to prove their disability when they are eligible for benefits again. This can take considerable time and effort.

One possible tool for avoiding this is to provide for a special needs trust in your will that directs that the disabled person’s bequest goes into a trust. It is important to be very careful in drafting the will with a trust. Government bodies have specific regulations and requirements for trusts. SSI presently recognizes special needs trusts as long as they meet all of the requirements established by Medicaid.

Baton Rouge Special Needs & Disability Attorneys

If you have any questions about wills, then you should contact an experienced elder law or estate planning attorney at Losavio & DeJean, LLC, The Louisiana Elder Law Firm to discuss your situation. Our talented legal team has more than four decades of experience and the extensive knowledge you need on your side to pursue the disability benefits you or your loved one are entitled to.

To request your complimentary phone consultation, please give us a call today at (800) 835-5864, or contact us online.