For adults and children with long term disabilities that impede their daily functioning, a special needs trust is a legal, ethical and effective tool to maintain assets while still being able to qualify for public assistance such as Medicaid and SSI benefits. The purpose of a special needs trust is to allow persons with disabilities to purchase life enhancing modalities or equipment that is outside the parameters of public assistance entitlements. There are numerous types of special needs trusts and the counsel of an estate planning attorney is invaluable, due to the legal requirements and details that are involved. Finley Law LLC, is an elder law firm that is knowledgeable in all matters of estate planning including special needs trusts. They can help you meet the challenges of asset protection in a professional and caring manner.
It is important that the trustee of a special needs trust is aware of what the funds can be used for. Exclusions are food, clothing, cash and shelter, as those basic needs are covered under Medicaid and SSI benefits. A violation of money being used improperly, such as a duplication of services, can suspend, reduce or eliminate public assistance. Some items that monies in a special needs trust can be used for is education, specialty vehicles, recreation, counseling, legal expenses, travel, computers, or starting a business.
A first party special needs trust is designed for persons that have their own assets, perhaps through an inheritance or a personal injury lawsuit. Child support payments can be part of this trust. These trusts are irrevocable and following the death of the beneficiary, there is a Medicaid payback provision, which forwards the remainder of the trust money to the Medicaid system. A third party special needs trust are those accounts that have been funded by persons other than the beneficiary, usually a parent or grandparent that is leaving estate money for a disabled child. With pre-planning, it is possible that the remainder of the third party trust, after a beneficiary’s death, can be transferred to other beneficiaries. In a pooled special needs trust, a non- profit organization will administer the fund on behalf of many individual persons for investment purposes and the money is used proportional to the amount of funds that each individual has contributed. This type of trust is irrevocable and the remainder of the funds after the death of a beneficiary can be used to assist other persons with disabilities.
The design and implementation of a special needs trust is a complex legal matter. The attorneys at the law office of Finley Law LLC, are qualified in special needs planning matters. They can preserve your eligibility for public assistance benefits while providing asset protection. They can provide the needed counsel and education for the trustee of the fund, as this is an important role with specific obligations. The law office of Finley Law LLC, have been successfully providing legal services for clients in Volusia County, Florida for over twenty years. They are knowledgeable in all areas of estate planning and Medicaid services. Call for an appointment and they can put your mind at ease.
To speak with a DeLand elder law lawyer about your wishes for your when or should you need incapacity planning, call Finley Law LLC at 386-734-5959.