You have to be careful that you don’t do more harm than good when you are planning your estate. If you are not aware of all the relevant facts you may provide assets to loved ones in a way that is less than ideal, and they may ultimately pay a significant price.
The above principle applies in a number of different situations, but we would like to look at the matter of special needs planning here.
Some people with special needs depend on benefits that they get from the government to provide very expensive treatment and care. We’re talking about care that can ultimately reach the seven figures over the life of an individual that has a disability.
Medicaid and SSI are programs that are designed to help people that have very limited financial resources. If someone who was eligible for one of these programs was to suddenly come into an inheritance all of a sudden these benefits could go away.
The person who left behind the funds thought that he or she was doing something generous for a loved one. In the end, the results could be disastrous.
There are websites that advertise do-it-yourself estate planning downloads and worksheets. You may simply use one of these services to create your own last will without understanding any of the above.
If you were to consult a licensed estate planning attorney you would hear about alternatives that don’t impact government benefit eligibility, such as supplemental trusts.
The wise course of action is to steer clear of DIY notions and seek professional advice before you make any serious estate planning decisions.