How Does a Special Needs Trust Protect Your Loved One?
Fortunately, the government has created rules allowing assets to be held in a special type of trust called a “Special Needs” or “Supplemental Needs” Trust for a recipient of SSI, Medicaid and other needs-based benefit programs, as long as certain requirements are met. With the proper planning, a disabled beneficiary will be able to maintain his or her lifestyle, and the property given to the special needs child will be controlled and overseen by trusted individuals who you select (rather than judges and attorneys who are unacquainted with the child’s needs).
The attorneys at Phelps LaClair can help you set up a Special Needs Trust so that government benefit eligibility is preserved while at the same time the special needs child can receive sufficient assets from your estate to meet his or her supplemental needs (those that go beyond food, shelter, clothing and medical care). A properly drafted Special Needs Trust can fund those additional needs. In fact, the Special Needs Trust must be designed specifically to supplement, not replace, public benefits. Otherwise, the government could attempt to seize the trust assets for repayment of services already provided or determine that the special needs child does not qualify for future benefits.
When done properly, the Special Needs Trust can be used for a variety of life-enhancing expenditures without compromising your loved one’s eligibility for benefits. Special Needs Trusts are a critical component of your estate planning if you have disabled beneficiaries for whom you wish to provide after your passing.
Click here if you would like to learn more about Special Needs Trusts.