A History Of Growing Trust In Kentucky

Estate planning can help a loved one with mental illness

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2023 | Estate planning

More and more, mental illness is something we can discuss openly with our family, friends and employers, not something to keep hidden out of shame. Society’s increasing acceptance and openness around mental health no doubt encourages more people in Louisville to see a doctor or therapist when they experience troubling symptoms. The CDC estimates that more than 50 percent of Americans experience some form of mental illness or disorder at some point in their lives, so nobody dealing with one of these conditions is alone.

But not all mental health conditions are curable or controllable. A severe condition can interfere with the patient’s life to the point that they cannot care for themselves. Working or living independently might not be possible. As a spouse or parent, you want to do everything you can to ensure your loved one has as comfortable and enriching of a life as possible. This often involves paying for their housing and other necessities, along with their medical care.

This financial protection does not have to end after you pass away. Estate planning tools like the special needs trust can ensure your loved one will continue to have the financial resources they need to lead a fulfilling life.

What is a special needs trust?

As the name implies, a special needs trust is a type of trust for a beneficiary who has one or more disabilities. It allows you to leave money and other assets for the benefit of your loved one without having to pass those items through probate after your death. This trust also helps the beneficiary qualify for disability assistance like Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income.

Whether a special needs trust or other type of trust is right for you and your family depends on many individual factors. Also, if you add a trust to your estate plan, you will need to choose a trustee who is willing and capable of administering the trust properly. An estate planning attorney can help guide you through these decisions.