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Volunteer Attorney Drafted a Special Needs Trust for a Military Family

June 25, 2013

A Coast Guard servicemember and his wife sought help to create a special needs trust to ensure that their disabled child would continue to receive public benefits in the event of their death. Eligibility for government benefits programs for those with special needs, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid, have income limits that can be exceeded when a child inherits money or other benefits. Aware of the importance of creating a special needs trust to preserve their child’s eligibility for public benefits, this military family contacted a military legal assistance office for assistance. However, because the complexity of drafting special needs trusts fell beyond the expertise of the office, it referred the case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project. The Project located a volunteer attorney who was able to create a special needs trust for the servicemember and his wife, ensuring that their son would receive necessary public benefits in the future.

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