Special Needs Trusts
Special Needs Trusts
Two major considerations must be addressed when planning for the long term financial security of a disabled family member. First, the disabled person may need assistance with handling his or her financial affairs. Second, a person who would otherwise qualify for needs based governmental assistance programs (such as SSI and Medicaid) can be rendered ineligible through direct receipt of funds. A properly structured special needs trust (SNT) will address both of these concerns.
What Type of Trust is Right for Your Situation?
Our firm drafts two different types of SNTs: a) trusts created by a third party in the estate planning context and b) self-settled trusts* funded with a person’s own money received from a personal injury recovery, divorce settlement, workers’ compensation award or gift or inheritance from a third person.
So long as the SNT meets all requirements, assets held in the trust will not be countable for purposes of eligibility for SSI and Medicaid. Furthermore, funds held in trust are available to pay for a wide variety of services, property and effects that are not paid for by the government.
Customized Planning for Each Individual
We recognize that the primary concern is to promote dignity and independence for your loved one in the context of stated financial objectives. That is why each of our team members has been chosen to work with us based in part upon personal sensitivity to the needs of the special needs and elderly population.
At Scott Counsel, we know that the best plan can be established through a “team” approach. We encourage open communication with our clients’ advisors including their CPA, insurance professional or financial planner as well as appropriate medical professionals.
Counsel and Advice
Drafting and executing the trust document is simply one step in an ongoing process. No matter the type of special needs trust, it is critical that all governmental rules be followed meticulously. Otherwise, eligibility for governmental benefits can be unnecessarily jeopardized.
During the course of our representation, Scott Counsel will assist in helping our client choose an appropriate trustee. We are available to advise with respect to the responsibilities involved in trust administration which include decisions regarding permitted trust expenditures.
Many are not aware that funds held in a special needs trust may be available to pay for certain housing and transportation costs. We also counsel families who provide personal/professional care as to allowed compensation scenarios. Naturally, we can answer your questions regarding certain tax considerations as well as discuss the steps to be taken when a trust needs to be terminated.
*Ask us about our unique process – The Tort Recovery Protector Technique℠
– 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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