Mullica Hill Special Needs Trusts Lawyer
Mullica Hill Special Needs Trusts Lawyer
If you have a disabled loved one for whom you provide financial support or any other type of care, your estate planning process may be more complicated than it is for other adults. You likely want to ensure that your disabled loved one can continue to benefit from your assets when you are gone, but in all likelihood, you will likely jeopardize your disabled loved one’s ability to receive certain necessary benefits if you simply leave money or other property to them in a will or through a more traditional type of trust.
When you are making your will or discussing the possibility of creating a trust, you will need to consider the ways in which an inheritance could affect your disabled loved one’s eligibility for needs-based benefits. You should speak with a Mullica Hill special needs trusts lawyer to find out more about the advantages of creating a special needs trust in New Jersey.
Learning More About Trusts in Mullica Hill
Trusts in general are legal tools through which a person (the “trustor”) can transfer assets to another person (the “beneficiary”). There are many different types of trusts that can be established under New Jersey law, and they have various purposes. Some trusts are designed to provide some type of benefit to the trustor, while many other types of trusts can provide benefits to beneficiaries beyond the sole transfer of assets. A special needs trust is one particular kind of trust that can be created to benefit a disabled person.
What is a Special Needs Trust in Mullica Hill?
A special needs trust (SNT), which can sometimes be known as a supplemental needs trust, is a specific kind of trust that can preserve a disabled beneficiary’s eligibility for federal government benefits based on limited resources and financial need. In particular, many disabled people rely on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and Medicaid to pay for necessary expenses and health care, but eligibility for these benefits is dependent upon the disabled person continuing to have limited financial resources. Special needs trusts can be created in one of two ways:
- By a person who is estate planning and wants to leave assets to a disabled loved one; or
- With the disabled person’s settlement, benefits award, or inheritance.
If a disabled person who receives SSI and Medicaid benefits suddenly inherited a significant amount of money through a family member’s will, for example, that inheritance would count toward the disabled person’s income, and she or he would be unlikely to continue receiving SSI or Medicaid benefits. Losing eligibility for needs-based benefits will result in your disabled loved one having to use his or her inheritance to pay for basic needs, when those could have been provided through SSI or Medicaid, and the inheritance could have gone toward making your disabled loved one’s life more comfortable. Likewise, if a disabled person wins a personal injury lawsuit and receives a settlement, that settlement could affect eligibility for SSI and Medicaid. To avoid this type of situation, you will want to speak with a Mullica Hill special needs trust lawyer about setting up an SNT.
How Do I Know If I Need a Mullica Hill Special Needs Trust?
Do you have a disabled loved one under the age of 65 who receives needs-based benefits, and to whom you want to leave certain assets or property? Or, did a disabled person recently receive a settlement or damages award, and you are concerned about their eligibility for SSI benefits and Medicaid eligibility?
Then an SNT may be the right choice for you. According to the State of New Jersey’s Department of Human Services, “any individual under 65, who is disabled under the Social Security Administration standard, may place assets in an SNT to establish or maintain Medicaid eligibility.” Further, “as a general rule, because the SNT beneficiary does not own the assets in the trust, he or she can remain eligible for benefit programs that have an asset limit.”
Requirements of a New Jersey Special Needs Trust
For a special needs trust to be valid, and for the trust to allow a disabled person to remain eligible for needs-based benefits, there are certain requirements that must be met. The Department of Human Services cites the following as just some of the requirements associated with a special needs trust in New Jersey:
- Trust document must be disclosed and reviewed;
- Annual SNT trust accountancy need to be disclosed and reviewed;
- SNT beneficiary must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of a disability (“the inability to do any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months”);
- SNT must be an irrevocable trust;
- SNT must be for the sole purpose of the SNT beneficiary;
- SNT must be established by an allowed party (such as a parent, a grandparent, a guardian, or the court);
- State of New Jersey must be the first remainder beneficiary when the SNT beneficiary passes away;
- Transfers to the SNT cannot be made after the SNT beneficiary turns 65;
- Any cash distributions to the SNT beneficiary will count as unearned income; and
- Medicaid must be repaid for payments through the trust if a personal injury lawsuit recovery funds the SNT.
Contact Our Mullica Hill Special Needs Trust Attorneys
When you have any questions or concerns about providing for a loved one, especially a dependent with special needs, it is critical to discuss your options with an experienced special needs trust attorney in Mullica Hill. At Scott Counsel, P.C., we know how important it is to have security and peace of mind, especially when it comes to knowing that your disabled loved one will have the care she or he needs without having to give up public benefits.
Our firm can begin working with you today to set up a special needs trust and to provide you with more information about how this particular type of trust can benefit your loved one. Contact Scott Counsel, P.C. online or call our firm at (856) 672-7248 to learn more about how we assist individuals and families in New Jersey.
– When my son, who has Cystic Fibrosis and CF related diabetes, was suddenly and unexpectedly removed from his Medicaid program, we were devastated and frightened not knowing where we would get the resources to pay for his extremely high priced prescriptions. Justin was the attorney who handled our case. From the very beginning, he proved to be very thorough and experienced with navigating the process of reversing the Medicaid decision. However, it was his apparent kind, caring nature that made us feel the most at ease. Justin was successful in securing a continuation of benefits for my son, and we are extremely grateful for having his expertise during this most stressful ongoing process. Thank you, Justin!
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