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What Is a Special Needs Trust and Why Is It Necessary

special needs trust

For a long time, individuals living with disabilities were not afforded the same treatment as fully abled members of society. This extended to the devolution of their estates and their well-being in the event of their primary caregiver’s passing. Today there is a way of protecting the interests of all your loved ones, you can do so by way of a Special Needs Trust. A Special Needs Trusts will ensure that persons with disabilities are provided for through effective estate planning. We are here to help you learn what Special Needs Trusts are, why they are necessary and how you can set one up today.

What Are Special Needs Trusts

A Special Needs Trust is a trust set up in favor of a disabled beneficiary. It provides for the care of the beneficiary even when their primary care-giver has passed, ultimately allowing for the beneficiary to have a secured future. Special Needs Trusts are not limited to any class of society and allow for access to government benefits for all without depleting family assets. These include financial based government support namely, Medicaid and Supplementary Security Income. Special Needs Trusts, if planned correctly, can fully provide for the beneficiary using both government and private resources.

Types Of Special Needs Trusts

There are two types of Special Needs Trusts. When choosing a trust, you will need to consider the needs and resources of your beneficiary.

  1. General Support Special Needs Trust

    If the resources available to your beneficiary can sufficiently and comfortably provide for your beneficiary for the duration of their life, the General Support trust is preferred. It is important to remember that ‘resources’ include all assets and inheritance available to the beneficiary.

  2. Supplemental Care Special Needs Trust

    If the resources available to your beneficiary cannot fully cover the needs of the beneficiary of the duration of their life, the Supplemental Care trust is ideal. The trust will allow for the beneficiary to access government need-based benefits to ensure that they are provided for sufficiently. Many families opt for Supplemental Care trusts to support the existing familial resources available to the beneficiary.

How To Set Up A Special Needs Trust

You may create a Special Needs Trust in your lifetime or by prescription of your will. The trust may be funded by a family member or by the assets held by the beneficiary – referred to as ‘self-settled’ Special Needs Trusts. The implication of self-settled trusts is that upon the death of the beneficiary, the trust will be liable for all payments made by Medicaid to the beneficiary. Only once government has been reimbursed can the beneficiary’s successor’s or those said to inherit, lay claim against the estate of the deceased beneficiary.

Trusts funded by a third party are treated differently to that of self-settled trusts. Third party funded trusts are not liable for government repayment. Upon the death of the beneficiary, the assets and resources held by the trust may be distributed among the successors as held by the trustees.

Why Special Needs Trusts Are Necessary

Special Needs Trusts not only benefit people living with disabilities, but also allow for their family’s peace of mind. Estate planning is an essential part of all our lives irrespective of physical, mental or intellectual ability. It remains a fundamental concern for all families across the world. Setting up a Special Needs Trust requires knowledge of the law to ensure that all the beneficiary’s options are maximized. At Gary I. Handin, P.A., our lawyers are experienced in estate planning and are backed by 40 years of legal service you can count on. Contact us today to ensure that your trust protect the interests of your entire family.

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Law Offices of
Gary I. Handin, P.A.

Providing professional legal services for the city of Coral Springs. Contact us today for a free consultation – 954-796-9600.

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