When planning your estate, it’s very important to consider all the aspects of your bequeathed heirs, so that you properly channel them the assets you want them to have without harming them in the process. Take for instance a disabled adult successor that you want to bequeath a home property to. If that person lives modestly in an apartment and receives financial aid in the form of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), if you don’t take the proper steps to protect them they could end up losing their benefits are receiving your inheritance.
The fact of the matter is, they could end up losing their SSI eligibility is they have assets totally more than $2,000, or $3,000 if they are married or file joint tax returns. There are currently 5.6 million U.S. citizens receiving SSI, and another 2.8 million citizens receive SSI and Social Security, according to the Social Security Administration.
Special Needs Trusts
Benefactors can still give their family members who are taking advantage of government by using special trusts. These can be set up with Pueblo estate planning lawyers when setting up your estate plan or will. A special trust inheritance must be reported to the Social Security Administration. These kinds of trusts can be used to pay for the following types of resources:
- Food/Rent – This may still reduce your SSI income slightly, but you should still be able to receive a minimum of $260 a month from the government.
- Medical Payments/Utilities/Education/Entertainment – Money paid from a special trust on these items will not reduce your SSI benefits.
POD and TOD Designations
Payment-on-death and transfer-on-death designations (which are commonly available for assets like bank account holdings, real estate, retirement account holdings, securities, and vehicles) are other items that can be set up for inheritance that can impact a beneficiary. Again, it’s best these assets get set up in a special trust administered by a trustee for the beneficiary. In the case of a vehicle, an executor or administrator could sell the car and place the proceeds into a special trust account.
Another way to preserve the government benefits for a disable adult, who is set up to become a benefactor of an inheritance, is to disclaim one’s right of being a beneficiary. Basically, this takes the inheritance away from the person, and it gets assigned to another family member so as to not disrupt the government benefits they receive. This must be done in writing and executed through the proper legal channels. It’s best to have one of our Pueblo Estate Planning Lawyers
Contact the Pueblo Estate Planning Lawyer at Gradisar, Trechter, Ripperger & Roth
Let an experienced Pueblo estate planning lawyer at Gradisar, Trechter, Ripperger & Roth help you develop a comprehensive, effective estate plan to protect you, your loved ones and your legacy. Since 1972, our Pueblo attorneys have been dedicated to helping people resolve various estate planning and probate matters (as well as other legal issues).
Call us at (719) 556- 8844 or email us using the contact form on this page to get personalized advice – and experienced help – regarding estate planning and/or Colorado probate.
From offices in Pueblo, we serve people throughout Pueblo County, as well as the state of Colorado.