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Special Needs Trust

A Special Needs Trust is a legal arrangement that allows individuals with disabilities to receive additional financial support while still qualifying for government benefits.

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Service Description

A Special Needs Trust, also known as a Supplemental Needs Trust, is a legal arrangement that allows individuals with disabilities or special needs to receive financial support without risking the loss of important government benefits such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

The purpose of a Special Needs Trust is to enhance the quality of life of the trust beneficiary, by providing for their supplemental needs that are not covered by public benefits. These supplemental needs may include things like education, recreation, transportation, and medical expenses.

There are two types of Special Needs Trusts: Third-Party Special Needs Trust and First-Party Special Needs Trust.

A Third-Party Special Needs Trust is one that is funded with assets belonging to someone other than the beneficiary. This type of trust is typically created by a family member or friend of the beneficiary who wants to leave assets to the individual without affecting their eligibility for public benefits. In this type of trust, the beneficiary does not have any control over the assets, and the trustee is responsible for managing them on behalf of the beneficiary.

A First-Party Special Needs Trust, on the other hand, is created with assets that belong to the beneficiary. This type of trust is often established in situations where the beneficiary receives an inheritance or settlement from a lawsuit. In a First-Party Special Needs Trust, the beneficiary has control over the assets, but the trustee is responsible for managing them in a way that does not affect the beneficiary’s eligibility for public benefits.

In order to be effective, a Special Needs Trust must be carefully crafted to comply with strict legal requirements. The trust must be irrevocable, and it must be set up in a way that ensures that the assets in the trust are not counted as the beneficiary’s income or assets for purposes of determining eligibility for public benefits.

The trustee of a Special Needs Trust must also be carefully chosen. The trustee should be someone who is trustworthy, financially responsible, and has experience managing complex financial matters. The trustee will be responsible for investing the assets in the trust, making distributions to the beneficiary, and ensuring that the trust complies with all legal requirements.

In summary, a Special Needs Trust is an important legal tool that can provide much-needed financial support to individuals with disabilities or special needs without jeopardizing their eligibility for important government benefits. If you are considering creating a Special Needs Trust, it is important to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney who can guide you through the process and ensure that your trust is effective and legally sound.

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