Introduction to Special Needs Planning
I’m going to assume that there is a person with special needs who may need SSI or Medicaid either now or in the future, Am I safe with that assumption? There is somebody in your life that you care about and that’s why you’re here. I’m also assuming that you want to leave that person in the best possible situation you can given your particular family situation, am I safe with that assumption? Good. How many of you have an estate plan? You can raise your hand. Hold it high and proud. Guess what? You all have an estate plan, you just might not now what it says. So, we’re going to spend a few minutes going over what the state has done for you. The state has written an estate plan for you. If you are married and have one child, one half passes to your spouse and the other half passes to your child. By law, it becomes theirs. If you have more than one child, one third passes to your spouse and two thirds is divided up equally between however many children you have, and if you are not marred, everything is equally divided among your children. We are going to have a husband and wife, and this is a modern family, this is a second marriage for both of them. The wife has a daughter from a previous marriage and the husband has a daughter from a previous marriage, and that lady over there is the ex-wife of the husband, and let’s say they have two children between them. So they have two joint children and two separate children. That’s how lawyers refer to the different children, we than define what we mean by that in the document, let’s say that the husband owned a house that he purchased after his divorce and prior to his second marriage. More than likely the title to that house is only in his name, unless he specifically added his second wife’s name to the title, which we find out, often doesn’t happen, though they intend to do so, they often don’t do it. Then, he passes away, what’s going to happen to that house? The current wife will get a thirty-three percent interest in that house. The child from the first marriage will get a twenty-two percent interest in the house and the two children of the current marriage will each get a twenty two percent interest in the house. Guess who gets to control that twenty two percent interest? If the child is a minor, the natural parent is the natural guardian, so the ex-wife manages that twenty two percent interest. Did husband want to leave his current wife and his ex-wife co-owners of a house? Probably not.
Nadler Biernath LLC assists clients in the Atlanta, Georgia area and throughout Georgia including Kennesaw, Alpharetta, Roswell, Marietta, Buckhead, Johns Creek, Duluth, East Cobb and Dunwoody.