Question

In Connecticut, if I leave any part of my estate to my disabled son, he will lose his Medicaid financial eligibility. Should I leave my son’s share of my estate to my daughter with instructions for her to “take care of your brother”?

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Answer

No. If your daughter is sued, files for divorce, files for bankruptcy or becomes seriously ill, the funds will quickly dissipate with no protection to preserve them for your son’s needs. The solution is to place your son’s share of your estate into a third-party discretionary special needs trust. This trust can be established while you are living, or by your will, to be funded upon your death. The trust gives the trustee full discretion to pay for goods and services for your son that are not covered by Medicare, Medicaid or other public or private benefits for which your son qualifies.

An experienced elder law attorney can draft the trust to your specifications so that your son’s needs will be met when you can no longer advocate for him.

Answered 06/24/2014

Disclaimer: This answer was provided by an attorney selected to Super Lawyers, and is intended to be an educated opinion only. This answer should not be relied upon as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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