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Author: YewGuise Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121338  
Subject: Re: DIY estate planning strikes again Date: 7/17/2013 1:52 PM
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The deceased had a special needs son...

Yikes.

I have a special-needs adult brother who's living in a subsidized apartment. Our father, meaning well I'm sure, chose a reduced pension for himself in order for bro to have a survivor's pension benefit*; and in addition, had a simple will stating all assets** to be divided equally among his children and distributed directly to each of us personally.

In order not to have to tell bro, "Dad died, here's extra income for you, and oh by the way, the extra income disqualifies you from staying in your subsidized apartment, but isn't enough to cover an unsubsidized apartment. Good luck finding someplace to live," I dragged Dad to an estate-planning specialist, who provided a new will stating that inheritances are to go into trusts, one for each (adult) child, with bro's trust being specifically a "Special Needs Trust" which names sis as trustee and states that assets in the trust are not to be used to disqualify bro from any benefits he might otherwise receive.

So yes, with a special-needs dependent, there will be issues, but one should at least make a good-faith effort to try to anticipate and mitigate, and get professional guidance. Jeez.

* Since bro, and not the trust, is the pension beneficiary, we might still have issues.
* Also, bro, having no mortgage, car, children, or other typical expenses that the rest of us have, and having whatever expenses he does have already covered by SSD, Medicaid, etc, is in much less need of the money then some of my other siblings, but that's another story.
** Given that end-of-life expenses are unknown, there may well be no assets to distribute.
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