Planning a Special Needs Trust

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Special Needs Trust is an Estate Planning tool that lets you better protect your disabled loved one without putting their eligibility for government-offered benefits, like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid, at risk. Trying to plan for a future you can’t control can feel overwhelming, but that’s why we’re here to help you along the way. Whether you need to set up a Special Needs Trust for your loved one, or if you have a Special Needs Trust and have questions, this guide will answer everything you need to know.

What is a Special Needs Trust? 

A Special Needs Trust is a specific type of Trust that’s set up to take care of any person with a disability. The Trust can supplement public benefit payments without jeopardizing eligibility for those benefits. One of the most important aspects of this type of Trust is that it allows a mentally or physically disabled person to access the assets without the Trust’s value affecting or reducing government assistance. The Trust also adds a layer of protection from the government attempting to access funds from inheritances or other sources.

Special needs trusts can be intimidating to navigate for many people. You may assume that the trust can put the beneficiary’s eligibility for income-restricted programs or services at risk. Fortunately, there are several benefits that it offers and a few reasons why it’s important to establish a trust as soon as possible.

A Trust is Irrevocable

One of the main reasons why trusts offer peace of mind is because they’re irrevocable, and the money is used for the intended purposes. The beneficiary’s assets can’t be seized due to a lawsuit or if creditors pursue the individual in the future. The trust has a high level of protection, making it necessary to hire a legal professional to ensure the correct legal terms are used to ensure the state recognizes the trust and deems it to be valid.

Enhance the Quality of Life of the Beneficiary

These trusts can enhance the quality of life of the beneficiary without making them ineligible for special programs that they receive services from each year. They can be useful for maximizing the resources that are available to them and preserve their eligibility for Medicaid and Supplementary Security Income.

Allows Others to Contribute

Special needs trusts are flexible because they allow other people to contribute to it instead of the person who set it up. Annual gifts of up to $15,000 can be contributed each year by family members or friends that want to help. It can also be used as a checking account to ensure the individual’s expenses are paid.

With the help of a legal professional, it can be easier to set up a special needs trust and navigate the process. An expert can help you to avoid mistakes and determine the best way to structure the trust to ensure it offers more advantages to the beneficiary.