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The Montana Estate Lawyer

Friday, June 22, 2018

Estate Planning Tips for Families with Disabled Beneficiaries

I recently came across an article on WealthManagement.com that does a good job of setting forth planning tips for families who have a loved one with a disability, Click Here. The article is authored by Robert M. Freeman and Alexis R. Gruttadauria and was published on May 9, 2018.

The authors appropriately point out that estate planning for individuals that have children or other types of beneficiaries with disabilities is wrought with extra layers of complexity. Those individuals are usually primary caretakers for their loved ones and worry about who will take care of them after the caretaker has passed away. Here are some tips on what to do to make the caretaker's death an easier transition for the person with disabilities:

  • Draft a Letter of Intent (also known as a Memorandum of Intent) to lay out instructions for trustees, guardians, and others about the special needs person's likes, dislikes, habits, routines, etc.
  • Start a Special Needs Trust (SNT), or sometimes called a Supplemental Needs Trust, for the loved one's benefit during the caretaker's lifetime rather than their will.
  • Avoid court-appointed management and caretakers.
  • Consider allotting more funds for the beneficiary with the special needs to other beneficiaries that may not have the same requirements.
  • Consider life insurance to adequately fund the SNT especially if the family is newer and the beneficiary with disabilities is young.

More tips can be found in the article.

Jon


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