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Why a special needs trust could important for your family

Every family is different, and this is why every estate plan should be different as well. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all strategy for planning for the future, especially if there are specific, complex concerns that are unique to your family. If you have a special needs child or are caring for a special needs loved one, this should be a factor in your planning efforts. 

A will is the basic foundation of any good estate plan, but there are other types of protections that could be important for you. Through a special needs trust, you can plan for the care and support of your loved one long after you are gone. The future is unpredictable, but through careful planning, you can face the unknown and the unexpected with confidence.

The benefits of this type of trust

Leaving assets or money to a loved one through a will is not always the best strategy. In terms of caring for your loved one, passing along assets for his or her care in this way can actually lead to complications and difficulties. It can compromise a loved one's eligibility for government benefits, and it can result in a significant tax burden. The following are reasons why it is better to set up a special needs trust instead:

  • You can name a trusted individual to act as the trustee. He or she will oversee the use and distribution of assets you set aside in a special needs trust.
  • Setting aside money in this way will not negatively impact your loved one's ability to be eligible for government assistance and types of benefits.
  • A special needs trust allows you to provide for specific needs, such as housing, clothing, necessities and medical care.

If you are creating an estate plan, you don't want to overlook the various tools you may need that will allow you to accomplish your specific goals and meet the specific needs of your family.

The future starts now

It is never too early or too late to start thinking about the future. If you need to create a trust, modify an estate plan or start the planning process from scratch, you will find it beneficial to work with an experienced Kentucky attorney. Knowledgeable guidance can be helpful as you make important choices that will affect you and your loved ones.

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  1. Charles W. Dobbins, Jr.

    Charles earned his J.D. degree from the University of Virginia in 1974

    He was graduated from Washington & Lee University in 1970 with a B.A. with Distinction

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    Mark W. Dobbins

    Mark earned his B.A. from Emory University.

    He earned his J.D. from the University of Louisville.

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    Patrick T. Schmidt

    Patrick earned his B.S. in Accounting from the University of Kentucky in 1989.

    He earned his J.D. from the University of Kentucky in 1992.

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    Terrence L. McCoy

    Terry earned a B.A. from Dartmouth College in 1964.

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    Ms. Bryant has extensive commercial litigation and bankruptcy experience. Prior to entering private practice, Ms. Bryant served as head of litigation for the Federal Land Bank of Louisville.

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    Sandra earned her Bachelor of Health Science degree, with Honors, from the University of Louisville in 1982.

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    Colgate University, B.A., Political Science, magna cum laude, 1983

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    Kacie A. Wilkinson recently joined Tilford, Dobbins & Schmidt, PLLC, where she practices in the areas of business law & transactions, real estate, estate planning and probate.

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    John was admitted to the Kentucky bar in 1977 and admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky in 1979.

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