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This material was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, to avoid penalties imposed under the Internal Revenue Code. This material was written to support the promotion or marketing of the products, services, and/or concepts addressed in this material. Clients and other interested parties to whom this material is promoted, marketed, or recommended should consult with and rely solely on their own independent advisors regarding their particular situation and the concepts presented here.
why families should plan for a loved one with a disability
Why Families Should Plan for a Loved One with a Disability
  • Persons with disabilities are living longer and public benefits are often necessary to pay for future personal and medical care
  • Health care costs are increasing each year and private paying for such care can zero out even a sizable inheritance in a short period of time
  • Public benefits provide ONLY a subsistence level of care. To provide for “extras” such as transportation, accessibility modifications, or furniture for a person with a disability requires “special” planning
  • Parents should plan to appoint an Advocate after they are no longer there for their child with a disability
planning for a child with a disability
Planning for a Child with a Disability
  • Preserving your child’s financial security and quality of life
  • Addressing key issues:
    • Understanding the role of public benefits
    • Making decisions about the future
    • Using a special needs trust to protect assets
public benefits at a glance
Public Benefits at a Glance
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid are the two most common public benefit programs for persons with disabilities
  • SSI and Medicaid are means tested public benefits:
    • Assets over $2,000 in the person with a disability’s name disqualify him or her from SSI and Medicaid
    • Income over a modest amount (generally $1,000/month) will disqualify a person from SSI and Medicaid
  • Laws and services vary from state to state
  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Medicare are not affected by a person’s assets
what ssi provides
What SSI Provides
  • SSI provides a modest monthly cash grant for food andshelter to disabled, blind, or aged (65 or older) persons
    • In 2010, the SSI federal government maximum payment is $674 a month for an individual
    • Some States supplement this amount. For example, California provides a supplement of $177 a month to the payment
    • Eligibility for even $1 of SSI (in most States) means automatic eligibility for Medicaid
what medicaid provides
What Medicaid Provides*
  • Comprehensive health insurance
  • Attendant services
  • Dental coverage
  • Day rehabilitation programs
  • Group homes

*Programs are state-specific; please contact your state Medicaid provider for more details.

lifetime care planning for a child with a disability
Lifetime Care Planning for a Child with a Disability

The best planning will assemble a team consisting of a special needs planning attorney, financial advisor, insurance professional, and professional care giver to develop a plan for lifetime care

  • Understand costs associated with specific disability
  • Understand availability of public benefits
  • Develop plan for funding the lifetime care
what parents should do
What Parents Should Do

Create Letter of Intent

Calculate future financial need

Establish Special Needs Trust (SNT) through will or living trust

Fund SNT with life insurance

Name SNT as beneficiary of accounts, plans, etc.

Reduce taxable estate

estimate income and expenses
Estimate Income and Expenses
  • Monthly income
    • SSI, SSDI, Social Security, earned/unearned income
  • Monthly living expenses
    • Housing, food, transportation, medical, recreation, etc.
    • Consider how any shortfall will be met
  • Income – Expenses = Shortfall
establish a snt
Establish a SNT
  • Third-Party SNTs allows a person with a disability to have assets available for their future care without interfering with public benefits eligibility
  • May be established by parents:
    • Through will
    • Through living trust
how to establish an snt
How to Establish an SNT

Important to work with experienced special needs planning attorney to establish an SNT

  • Complex laws govern trusts
  • Laws vary from state to state
types of third party snts
Types of Third-Party SNTs

There are two primary types of SNTs – Individual and Pooled

  • Individual SNTs are held by a corporate trustee or private trustee
  • Pooled SNTs are held by a Nonprofit Organization


funding an snt
Funding an SNT
  • Cash
  • Stock
  • Personal property
  • Real estate
  • Life insurance
life insurance
Life Insurance

Ideal way to provide for special needs child or dependent adult because death benefit is:

  • Federal income tax–free
  • Immediately available
  • Usually received outside of the probate process
avoiding common mistakes
Avoiding Common Mistakes

Common mistakes families make when planning for a person with a disability

  • Failing to plan at all
  • Creating a trust for person with a disability that fails to qualify as a special needs trust
  • Placing money in Uniform Transfer to Minors Account (UTMA)
  • Assuming other family members will take care of person with disability
  • Picking a poor trustee


example the smith family
Example: The Smith Family
  • Jim and Jane Smith are both 54
  • 13-year-old son, Mike, has Down syndrome
  • Jim and Jane want to ensure that Mike continues to receive government services while his supplemental needs are also covered
example the smiths planning
Example: The Smiths’ Planning
  • The Smiths consult their financial advisor, insurance professional, and attorney experienced in special needs planning
  • The Smiths’ financial advisor and insurance professional
    • Examines the Smiths’ goals and objectives
    • Performs detailed financial analysis based on future cost of supplementary items
    • Explores available resources to fund trust now and in future
example the smiths plan
Example: The Smiths’ Plan

The Smiths' create a Special Needs Trust

  • Jim and Jane make annual gifts to the SNT
  • The SNT purchases a $1.5M TransACE Survivor ®life insurance policy
  • When Jim and Jane pass away, the SNT receives the income tax-free life insurance proceeds
special needs trust the smith family
Special Needs Trust – The Smith Family

How does it work?

Annual giftsto Trust

Distributions for care

GrantorsJim & Jane

Disabled Loved OneMike

Premiums paidfor policy on lifeof grantor

At death,proceeds paidto the trust

Eligibility for governmentbenefits maintained

SSI & Medicaid

example benefits
Example: Benefits
  • Only life insurance provides instant liquidity in event of Jim and Jane's death for the continued care of Mike
  • Death benefit is immediately available; avoids probate
  • Distributions from the SNT can be made for Mike's care without interfering with his eligibility for public benefits
achieving important goals
Achieving Important Goals
  • An SNT can help you achieve vital estate planning and financial goals for your disabled loved one
  • Proper planning allows disabled person to maintain and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle while preserving governmental program eligibility

TransACE Survivor® is a nonparticipating, flexible-premium universal life insurance policy issued by Transamerica Life Insurance Company, Cedar Rapids, IA 52499. Policy Form No. 1-1211108 (CVAT), Group Certificate No. 2-72136108 (CVAT) for certificates issued under a group policy issued to the Rhode Island National Consumer Protection Trust. Policy form and number may differ, and this policy may not be available in all jurisdictions. In most states, in the event of suicide during the first two policy years, death benefits are limited only to the return of premiums paid. In Missouri, suicide is no defense to payment of insurance benefits, unless the Company can show that the insured intended suicide at the time of application for coverage.

Transamerica Life Insurance Company (“Transamerica”) and its representatives do not give tax or legal advice. This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as tax or legal advice. Clients and other interested parties must consult with and rely solely upon their own independent advisors regarding their particular situation and the concepts presented here.

Discussions of the various planning strategies and issues are based on our understanding of the applicable federal laws in effect at the time of publication. However, these laws are subject to interpretation and change, and there is no guarantee that the relevant authorities will accept Transamerica’s interpretations. Additionally, this material does not consider the impact of applicable state laws upon clients and prospects.

Although care is taken in preparing this material and presenting it accurately, Transamerica disclaims any express or implied warranty as to the accuracy of any material contained herein and any liability with respect to it. This information is current as of September 2010.

Life insurance products issued by Transamerica Life Insurance Company, Cedar Rapids, IA 52499.