You must plan very carefully in this situation because an inheritance may disqualify your grandson from receiving benefits. Many government programs are “needs based”, which means they count all assets in deciding whether a person qualifies.

You may have heard of a “Special Needs Trust” (sometimes called a “Supplemental Needs Trust”). It is a special type of trust designed to benefit a person who has a disability. It can be a “stand alone” document, but it can also be part of your Will or Trust in your overall estate plan.

A Special Needs Trust allows a person under a physical or mental disability to have assets held in trust for his or her benefit. If done correctly, the assets in the trust will not be considered “countable assets” for purposes of qualification for certain governmental benefits.

Feel free to call and we can talk about the details. Also, I offer a free consultation to talk about your objectives so you can decide the best plan for your specific situation.

Glenn Matecun is a partner with the law firm of Matecun, Thomas & Olson, PLC in Howell. He is an attorney focusing on estate planning, elder law and senior Veterans’ benefits, and answers readers’ questions on legal matters affecting individuals, their families and their businesses. Email questions to [email protected], or if your question is urgent, call (517) 548-7400. Visit us at The information in this column is not intended as legal advice.

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