The month of April is Autism Awareness Month, and we would like to do our part to raise awareness here on the blog.
Over 1 million Americans are living with some type of autism spectrum disorder, and it may well be the fastest-growing developmental disability. A very significant percentage of people in the country are touched by autism on some level.
Researchers are always doing everything possible to develop enhanced care and treatment efforts. Finding a cure would be fantastic, but some advocates prefer to emphasize the best ways to live with the challenges that are presented by autism.
One of the difficulties that people with autism and their families face is the extraordinary costs that are incurred in many instances. It is not uncommon for a lifetime of care to result in expenses of between $3 million and $5 million.
As a result, many people with autism are enrolled in the Medicaid program to help pay these stifling bills.
From an estate planning perspective, this can create a real concern for those who want to bequeath assets or money to provide for family members with disabilities. Such an inheritance, if left directly to the disabled individual, could render him/her ineligible for governmental assistance.
Fortunately, there is a viable solution – a supplemental or special needs trust allows you to provide for the day-to-day needs of your disabled family member without limiting their ability to obtain governmental assistance for their medical care.
We urge you to do what you can to raise awareness about autism this month and make sure that you examine all the facts before leaving an inheritance to someone who is receiving government benefits.
Author, President and Founding Attorney
Parman & Easterday