While it is always important for people to have their affairs in order before they die, it is especially important for those who have a loved one who has serious physical or mental disabilities.
If someone you love and want to provide for is disabled and is receiving government benefits, such as Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI) and/or Medi-Cal, or is likely to be eligible for these benefits in the future, you must consider the eligibility requirements for these programs in determining what you will leave to him or her. Typically, a person can only have $2,000.00 or less in cash resources, including bank accounts, stock and bonds, and real estate (other than a home), to qualify for these benefits.
Special Needs Planning is a process that identifies the financial, legal and lifetime needs for you, your family and your loved one with special needs. For most families, this process will include a discussion of government benefit programs and Special Needs Trusts, ABLE accounts, conservatorship, and defining/communicating your vision for your loved one through a Letter of Intent.