Special Needs Planning

HELPING PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES AND THEIR LOVED ONES SPECIAL NEEDS PLANNING AND BENEFIT ASSISTANCE

WHEN WOULD A SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST BE APPROPRIATE?

A special needs trust (often referred to as a “self-settled special needs trust”) would be appropriate for a person who was  determined  disabled prior to age 65, and who is receiving needs-based government assistance. By establishing and transferring assets into a special needs trust prior to reaching age 65, those assets would not count towards any needs-based government assistance programs. Special needs trusts are often used when a person who is receiving needs-based benefits receives a sum of  money  through  a  lawsuit,  inheritance,  or  other circumstances. To prevent disqualification of benefits, those funds can be placed into a special needs trust.

A second type of trust that is similar is a supplemental needs trust. A supplemental needs trust (also referred to as a “third party supplemental needs trust”) is set up by one person for the benefit of another person who has been determined disabled by the Social Security Administration. The trust can be used to supplement (not supplant) benefits being provided through certain government assistance programs. Parents who want to set aside funds for a child with a disability, and not adversely affect their child’s public benefits, often use supplemental needs trusts. Grandparents often use supplemental needs trusts for their disabled grandchildren. Funds in a properly drafted supplemental needs trust will not count as a resource for needs-based government assistance programs.

Both types of trusts have very specific legal requirements regarding who can establish them and how they can be administered.

THE NEED TO PLAN

Who will make health care decisions for you or a loved one if they are unable to? Who will make sure a child living with a disability is taken care of properly? Who will oversee their finances and their care? If government assistance is available, how will those benefits be obtained and protected?

These questions and more can all be addressed through legal planning services we offer. We take time to understand what is important to you so we can design a plan that reflects just that.

WE CAN HELP

Even though we can’t change the fact that life can bring very difficult and unique struggles, we can provide you a soft place to land. Beyond coming together with families and providing legal advice, we know how to make a real impact in the lives of our clients.

Sit down with us today to find out how we can help you plan for today, tomorrow, and years to come.

FINDING THE RIGHT PATH

If you are among the 1 in 5 people in the United States living with a disability, or if you have a loved one with a disability, you know how important issues like maintaining independence, finding and paying for care, and governmental assistance programs are.

We help clients with these types of issues every day. Contact us today.