Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Useful info from my attorney making out my will

I found out today from the attorney who is drawing up my will that I will be able to leave my house and my car to my son who currently receives SSI, and it will NOT affect his monthly SSI amount. Apparently 1 house for him to live in and 1 car will not hurt his benefits. One of the conditions is that he MUST reside in the home. He can’t sell the house, and keep the cash, that would negate his SSI benefits.

This is great news to me because I could not imagine him in his current apartment for long term, because they keep raising the rent yearly. And he doesn’t get much SSI as it is, so he would need to find something cheaper, and I didn’t want that to be a way of life for him, constantly moving around.

Luckily, I have a very tiny newer 2 Bedroom house with minimal maintenance required, and it’s paid off. I was worried about leaving that to him, and how it would affect his SSI.

Also started a notebook detailing all of the instructions, resources, for such things as utility bills, auto insurance, property taxes and when they are due, where to find movers, where to find people who can fix things, the best places to buy appliances such as a refrigerator, washer, dryer, microwave, etc. things we all need in everyday life. Feeling incredibly sad as I’m starting my “notebook”, but it must be done, I think something like this would be very helpful for the people you leave behind, whether they have sz or not. I wish someone would have done it for me.

A separate trust will be incorporated into the will for “extra” cash as needed, whether it be weekly or monthly. My older son will be the trustee.

It’s such a huge relief for me to know he won’t ever have to worry about moving because of an increase in rent. And since the house is paid off, his monthly expenses will be very minimal, a lot cheaper than what he is currently paying for rent.


Thank you for sharing your information. It reminds me to continue putting the steps in place for when I am gone. I’ve been sort of haphazardly making progress on a will etc., but I must get this done soon.

Starting a notebook of instructions is a great idea. To tell you the truth, even my husband wouldn’t know how to pay the bills and fully support himself, let alone my daughter. Page by page instructions would be a life-saver for them, and for my sons to keep things going.

I am still trying to get SSI/SSDI for my daughter, have arranged for her brothers to care of the paid-off house, and procured a good life insurance policy.

The sad subject of leaving our dependent mentally ill relatives behind is not something easy to face.


I also found out life insurance is tricky. If I have a life insurance policy for let’s say $200,000, and I name my sz son as the beneficiary, he WILL lose his SSI benefits. He can get back on SSI benefits AFTER he proves he has depleted ALL of the $200,000. He has to maintain records and receipts to prove they were used to survive. It seems like a lot of work. It appears that anything “cash” related or something that can be liquified will stop the SSI and hurt them.

My next question for the attorney is : can I name the trust as the beneficiary of the life insurance policy. My goal is for him to live as comfortably as possible after I’m gone. But it has to be done correctly so it does not interfere with his SSI

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I have a personal trust, where most things are assigned to go, and instructions on how that should be divided, with my son’s portion going into a special needs trust.


Also if they lose their SSI they could possibly lose their Medicaid as well. You might check into the new ABLE accounts those on SSI are now allowed to have. There are limits but it’s also a place to put money for our sick children that won’t affect their SSI.