Parents of children with special needs have one big concern for the future: who will pay for their child’s expenses if they are no longer here. Special needs trusts have been available to help, but something more was needed. “Achieving a Better Life Experience” (ABLE) offers people a way to help their loved ones actually achieve a better life experience. What can an ABLE account do for you?
What Is an ABLE Account?
An ABLE Account is a tax-exempt savings account. People with special needs can save money to use for disability-related expenses without affecting their eligibility for public benefits like Medicaid.
Who Can Contribute to an ABLE Account?
ABLE accounts are not just for parent-child situations. If you know someone whose loved one has been diagnosed with a disability, you can help, too. In fact, any person or entity can contribute to the account.
Also, there are several ways to contribute:
- Payroll deductions,
- Through an Automated Investment Plan (“AIP”),
- Electronic transfer from a bank account,
- By check.
Gifting is another option. For example, you can use an ENABLE Gift Certificate to send a contribution and include a personal note to the account owner. And, finally, donors can use UGIFT, a free online gifting service.
What Can I Pay for Using an ABLE Account?
Withdrawals are easy, but must be used for qualified disability expenses, including:
- Education (including tuition for preschool through post-secondary schools);
- Employment training and support;
- Assistive technology and related services;
- Personal support services;
- Health, prevention and wellness;
- Financial management and administrative services;
- Legal fees;
- Expenses for oversight and monitoring;
- Funeral and burial expenses, and
- Other expenses to enhance the account owner’s quality of life.
Funds in an ABLE account can be moved to another ABLE account if necessary. The money may be rolled over to another eligible family member.
You Can Help. So Can We.
In addition to helping someone with special needs, contributors to an ABLE account receive tax benefits. This seems almost secondary, though, compared to the good deed of helping someone in need.
If you have questions about an ABLE account or special needs trust, give us a call. We have the experience and training to handle your concerns. Contact Miller Estate and Elder Law at 256-251-2137 to schedule an appointment. We help clients in Anniston, Talladega, Birmingham, Gadsden and surrounding communities.