Special Needs Planning requires special care to protect those who need additional care. This can be done through Life Insurance and Able Plans, Wills, Guardianships and Custodianships along with Special Needs Trusts with the help of an attorney.
But until recently, people with disabilities and their families may have faced a hard choice: either save for the future or qualify for federal disability benefits. That changed under the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, which was signed into law in 2014. Tax-advantage savings plan for individuals with disabilities can help for long term health care and daily living needs.
What are Able Plans?
Able plans are tax-advantaged savings accounts for those with disabilities. As part of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014, contributions to the account can be made by any person, and the income earned on the account will not be taxed to the beneficiary, who is the owner to the plan and qualified disabled individual.
Families and individuals with disabilities can use funds in an ABLE account for qualified disability expenses including basic living expenses, housing, and health care. Individuals can invest up to $17,000 per year (for 2023) in the account.
Who Is Eligible?
- Able plans are available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who can legally own securities, including individuals who are blind or disabled from a condition that began prior to age 26.
- Those who meet the age requirement and may be eligible for SSI or SSDI benefits because of their disability. - Individuals with a written, signed diagnosis from a licensed physician.
Plan with Life Insurance
As a discounted dollar method, life insurance can protect for the unexpected death or disability and be used as a funding method for Special Needs Trusts.
Wills, Power of Attorneys, Guardians and Custodians
- Will: a will is a legal document that coordinates the distribution of your assets after death and can appoint guardians for minor children.
- Power of Attorney: is a legal authorization that gives a designated person the power to act for someone else, either financially, medically or both. It is essential in the event that you're incapacitated or not physically present to make decisions on your own behalf.
- Guardian: someone who has the legal right to care for another individual, usually minors or a disabled adult, those unable to care for themselves.
- Custodian: someone who has the legal right to manage and look after another person's money, investments, etc.
Special Needs Trust
With the help of an attorney in your state, a Special Needs Trust is a trust that will preserve the beneficiary’s eligibility for needs-based government benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Because the beneficiary does not own the assets in the trust, he or she can remain eligible for benefit programs that have an asset limit. As a general rule the trustee will supplement the beneficiary’s government benefits but not replace them.
We are here to help sort it all out! From personal experience, we understanding what caring for a special needs child truly is.