A trust is a valuable estate planning tool that provides numerous benefits.
In a trust, an individual can dictate how and when specific assets are distributed upon death. A trust also passes outside of the probate process, which can help reduce the costs of administration of an estate.
Many types of trusts are available for many different situations. Family members taking care of minors or physically or emotionally challenged adults often utilize the benefits of a special needs trust to ensure that their loved one is taken care of when they pass away.
What is a special needs trust?
A special needs trust, also referred to as a supplemental needs trust, allows family members to place money or property in a trust for the benefit of a disabled individual.
One of the most common benefits of a special needs trust is the ability to preserve eligibility for government benefits, such as supplemental security income or Medicaid. Money or property placed in a special needs trust is not counted toward qualification purposes.
How it works
Like all trusts, property or money is held "in trust" on behalf of a beneficiary. An individual, known as a trustee, administers the assets as outlined in the trust documentation.
Money held in a special needs trust is typically used to pay for medical expenses, personal care assistants and other personal necessities for an individual with special needs.
The help of an experienced estate planning attorney
If you are seeking a lawyer for guidance on special needs trusts as they pertain to your situation, reaching out to a firm with experience handling these matters is vital.
An attorney with knowledge handling special needs trusts can create a customized plan to ensure your loved one is taken care of after you pass away and preserve his or her eligibility for government assistance.