How did I help some recent clients?
In the past couple of months, I’ve had two clients come to me with very similar situations who were looking for some estate planning advice. To simplify, we will combine them into one couple called “John” and “Jane”.
John and Jane had an adult daughter, an adult daughter with special needs, and a minor daughter. If they had not done any estate planning whatsoever, when they both passed away, their estate would be split equally between the three daughters. The minor daughter’s inheritance would be set aside by the court until she was 18, at which time she would get everything – normally not a good idea for an 18 year old. The court would also decide who the guardian for the minor daughter was, rather than being able to choose someone they loved and trusted. Instead of allowing that to happen, they set up a trust in their Wills for their minor daughter, so that a trusted family member could manage her inheritance until she reached an age that they determined, rather than age 18. They also nominated guardians for her in their Wills.
Also, if they had no done any estate planning, their special needs daughter would inherit her portion directly, which would disqualify her from any governmental benefits she was receiving, including SSI and Medicaid, until the inheritance was gone, at which point she could again qualify for those benefits. Instead of allowing that to happen, we set up a special needs trust for this daughter. By setting up a special needs trust, she could continue to receive SSI and Medicaid as well as keeping the inheritance, which could be used to pay for any extra needs that she had that wouldn’t be covered by SSI, Medicaid, or another government program.
If you need assistance with creating an estate plan for your family that will help you accomplish your goals, call me, Sarah White, Cobb County estate planning attorney. I can help you with setting up Wills, trusts, powers of attorney, healthcare directives, and more. Call me today at 678-453-6490.