Princeton Special Needs Trusts Lawyer
Princeton Special Needs Trusts Lawyer
Trusts can have many different kinds of benefits for beneficiaries, and sometimes for the trustor or grantor who establishes the trust. A special needs trust (SNT) is a specific type of trust that is designed to provide benefits to a disabled adult who qualifies for need-based government benefits and does not want to lose eligibility for those benefits as a result of inheriting certain assets or obtaining damages award in a personal injury lawsuit, for example.
Whether you have disabled yourself and have questions about maintaining your eligibility for government benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid, or you are working on an estate plan and want to learn more about providing for a disabled loved one, you should seek advice from a Princeton special needs trusts lawyer at our firm. We can provide you with more information about SNTs and how you can establish one in New Jersey.
What is a Princeton Special Needs Trust?
A special needs trust in Princeton is one kind of trust—among many types of trusts—that can be created under New Jersey law. Regardless of whether you are establishing an SNT or another type of trust, you should learn more about the legal terms that are used and how they apply. When a person makes an SNT or another kind of trust, that person is known as a trustor or a grantor. The person who receives assets contained in a trust is known as a beneficiary. Then, a third party is responsible for managing the assets contained in a trust, and that person has a fiduciary duty, or a promise to act in the best interests of the trust and its beneficiaries. That third party is known as a trustee.
What are a special needs trust specifically, then? A special needs trust—which you may also see described as a supplemental needs trust—is created so that a disabled person can have access to assets contained in a trust without jeopardizing his or her eligibility for need-based government benefits. The most common types of need-based benefits that a person receives are Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, which come through the Social Security Administration (SSA) and provide benefits to a disabled adult with limited resources, and Medicaid, which pays for a disabled adult’s medical care.
By creating a special needs trust, the disabled person does not own the assets in the trust. As such, those assets cannot be cannot against the disabled person’s eligibility for need-based benefits. For example, if you leave a significant sum of money to a disabled loved one through a will, your disabled loved one would no longer qualify for SSI and Medicaid benefits, and would instead need to spend his or her inheritance on necessities. By placing that money into an SNT instead, your disabled loved one can continue to receive SSI and Medicaid benefits to pay for necessities while having access to the assets you want to leave to them. When those assets go into an SNT, the disabled person does not own them. Instead, the trustee is responsible for managing the assets.
Benefits of a Princeton Special Needs Trust?
Our Princeton trusts attorneys have explained some of the central benefits of an SNT, but we want to clarify the specific benefits of a special needs trust. Those benefits can include but are not limited to the following:
- A disabled adult can continue receiving benefits based on need, such as SSI or Medicaid benefits;
- A disabled adult can have additional financial support from you without worrying about eligibility for government benefits;
- The parent or guardian of a disabled child can establish the SNT during childhood and can use assets to pay for certain needs for the child;
- A creditor of your disabled loved one cannot take assets from an SNT;
- SNTs can be funded with a variety of assets; and
- Other parties, such as other family members, can also contribute to the SNT without having to establish a separate trust for a disabled loved one.
First-Party and Third-Party Special Needs Trusts in Princeton
Special needs trusts are typically either third-party trusts or first-party trusts.
A third-party special needs trust is an SNT created by someone other than the disabled adult for purposes of providing assets to a disabled adult loved one. For example, if you want to leave money to a disabled loved one but want to be certain that your disabled loved one can still qualify for SSI, Medicaid, and any other need-based benefits, you might create an SNT. This is a third-party SNT. In some cases, disabled adults may want to find out about establishing an SNT for themselves because they are anticipating an insurance payout or a personal injury damages award, or a similar acquisition of assets. With a first-party SNT, the disabled adult himself or herself would establish the trust for the same purposes as an SNT set up by a third party.
Legal Requirements for Princeton Special Needs Trusts
For an SNT to comply with New Jersey law, the trust must be irrevocable, it must be for the sole purpose of the disabled beneficiary, and the beneficiary must meet the SSA’s definition of disabled. There are additional specific SNT requirements that a New Jersey trusts attorney can discuss with you.
Contact a Special Needs Trust Attorney in Princeton, NJ
Special needs trusts are very particular types of trusts that are designed to benefit disabled adults while still allowing those disabled adults to remain eligible for need-based benefit programs like Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid. Whether you have disabled yourself and have questions about establishing a special needs trust to avoid losing eligibility for certain government benefits, or you have a disabled loved one for whom you provide care and for whom you want to leave assets when you pass away, our experienced Princeton special needs trust attorneys can talk with you today about your options.
Special needs trusts have specific requirements, and it is important to work with a lawyer who understands how to establish these trusts and to ensure that they meet all requirements under New Jersey law. Contact Scott Counsel, P.C. online or call our office at (856) 281-3131 to get started on a special needs trust with one of our dedicated estate planning lawyers. We serve clients in New Jersey and throughout the Philadelphia, PA area.
– 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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