What is a Special Needs Trust?

Special Needs Trust
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Special needs lawyers can work with clients to set up individualized special needs trusts.

Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid are critical sources of support for those with disabilities, both in benefits and services.

To be eligible, a disabled person must satisfy restrictive income and resource limitations.

That’s why many families ask elder law and estate planning attorneys about the two types of special needs trusts.

Moberly Monitor’s recent article, “Things to know, things to do when considering a special needs trust,” explains that with planning and opening a special needs trust, family members can hold assets for the benefit of a family member, without risking critical benefits and services.

If properly thought out, families can continue to support their loved one with a disability long after they’ve passed away.

After meeting the needs of their disabled family member, the resources are kept for further distribution within the family. Distributions from a special needs trust can be made to help with living and health care needs.

To establish a special needs trust, meet with an attorney with experience in this area of law. They work with clients to set up individualized special needs trusts frequently.

Pooled trust organizations can provide another option, especially in serving lower to more moderate-income families, where assets may be less and yet still affect eligibility for vital governmental benefits and services.

Talk to an elder law attorney to discuss what public benefits are being received, how a special needs trust works and other tax and financial considerations. With your attorney’s counsel, you can make the best decision on whether a special needs trust is needed or if another option is better, based on your family’s circumstances.

At The Laiderman Law Firm, our attorneys can help with special needs planning and prepare estate plans for parents or families with a disabled individual, which include a SNT, reviewing with you the eligibility requirements for SSI and Medicaid (and other applicable means-tested government benefits), the changing regulations and rules that impact upon current or future benefit eligibility, the assets to be placed in the SNT in order to meet current or future lifetime care needs, and the important issues in selecting a trustee and managing the SNT so that the special needs individual’s government benefit eligibility is preserved and protected.

Reference: Moberly Monitor (October 27, 2019) “Things to know, things to do when considering a special needs trust”