Autism is a developmental disability that is present in about 1% of the children in the United States, and it is growing according to researchers. We are posting about autism in an effort to join in with those who are shining a spotlight on this disorder during April, which is Autism Awareness Month.
Suppose you wanted to leave behind assets to a family member with special needs when you are planning your estate. If you were to be in this situation you should tread lightly.
Many people are surprised when they hear that a significant percentage of individuals with autism require care throughout their lives that is very costly, adding up to as much as $5 million.
How do you pay for care that is this expensive? The answer for a lot of people is Medicaid.
How does someone with autism generate income? This is often provided via the Supplemental Security Income program.
You have to stay within financial asset limits to qualify for these programs. As a result, a person who receives an inheritance directly may lose benefit eligibility.
If you discuss this type of situation with an experienced estate planning attorney he or she will advise you about the existence of supplemental needs trusts.
When you fund this type of trust for the benefit of someone with special needs he or she can enjoy an improved quality of life via the utilization of these resources. However, benefit eligibility will remain intact.
You may want to take a moment to visit the Autism Society website during April to learn more about this disability and find out how you may be able to assist.