Congress passed The Able Act. It was to be a much ballyhooed law that would allow a special needs or challenged individual to own assets in their own name and still become eligible for Medicaid Assistance for special care living and related expenses. Unfortunately the law did not turn out as anticipated. What the law does allow is that you can setup a certain type of account where $14,000.00 per year per person can be gifted into the account. It is available for the special needs or challenged individual to be used on their behalf. That is the good news.
The bad news is that it is a version of a “Medicaid Payback Trust”. What that means is that when the special needs or challenged individual passes on, any money in that account would go to the government. Under many forms of “Special Needs” or “Supplemental Needs Planning” one can make Special Needs Trust assets available for the challenged person and then after the challenged person passes on, those assets go to another loved one, family member, or charity you choose. That money does not have to go to the government. Therefore, “Special Needs” or aka “Supplemental Needs” planning is still a very important vehicle for planning with a “Challenged” or “Special Needs” individual.
The Able Act provided a tool, but other more powerful tools need to be considered when planning for challenged or special needs individuals.
At the Law Firm of Steven Andrew Jackson, Attorney and Counsellor at Law, we have helped hundreds of families protect themselves and their loved ones, avoid Estate Taxes and Probate Costs, and keep their Estate Plans current with the law through The Customized Protective Estate Planning Solution™.