Mrs. Via Cava, a special needs teacher in New Jersey, devoted 45 years of her life to helping students with learning disabilities. She loved to teach and she loved her students. Even after she retired in 1990, she continued to visit the school and check in on her classes.
When Mrs. Via Cava died in 2011, she had no children or immediate family. She had amassed a small fortune by saving and being frugal. Last year, the school she worked for received a gift from her estate for $1 million to be used toward a scholarship fund for special education students seeking post-secondary education.
For this year's high school graduates, scholarships will be available to one or more special education students who want to continue their education. The amount will depend on the interest generated on the gift. The maximum amount is $25,000 per scholarship.
Often times, those with special needs are able to receive public assistance benefits like SSI or Medicaid. You may be moved like Mrs. Via Cava to leave money to a loved one with special needs. However, leaving money outright to a person with special needs could disrupt their public assistance benefits.
The solution is a special needs trust. You can create a special needs trust directly in your Will, and it will not jeopardize your loved one's government-assisted benefits. Instead of leaving the money directly to the person with special needs, the funds go into a trust for his/her benefit. You appoint someone to serve as Trustee, who is in charge of spending money on your loved one's behalf.
As Richard Jablonski, a close friend and the executor of Mrs. Via Cava's estate, says, "Her name will go on forever and rightfully so." Your name, too, can go on forever through gifts and trusts in your Will. You can leave a legacy for your family, friends, and loved ones. Our experienced attorneys can help you accomplish this through adept estate planning.
Source: CNN News