Special Needs Trust

A special needs trust, also referred to as a supplemental needs trust, is designed to benefit those who are physically or mentally handicap without taking away any other income. According to the government, a person will lose Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid funds if the possess more than $2,000 in personal assets. If these individuals are given an inheritance, then they will lose government benefits until the inheritance money is gone.

While SSI covers food, clothing, and shelter needs, Medicaid pays for medical care. The money from a Special Needs Trust will allow the disabled person to use money on anything that is not covered by these programs. This includes transportation, entertainment, personal care escorts, vacations, insurance, and other items that will improve that individual's quality of life. This type of trust must be irrevocable, so that the grantor or beneficiary cannot remove it.

Trustee for Special Needs Trusts

Since beneficiaries named in a supplemental needs trust are sometimes mentally handicapped or ill, they are often unable to fully comprehend the totality of what has been left to them. In order to ensure that these individuals have the help they need to financially manage the affairs that have been left to them, another individual is selected to monitor the proceeds, called the trustee.

The trustee will be in charge of distributing funds to the appropriate third party, because the disabled person will not be allowed to have direct access to the funds. The special needs trust may have a provision that states that an account must be provided about how the money was spent. A trustee could be a family member, or a bank or social worker. If the trustee doesn't act in the beneficiary's best interest, then that person may be liable for malpractice.

To make sure that your special needs trust is drafted correctly, you should seek guidance from a probate attorney. A competent legal representative can help to ensure that the process is completed accurately, so that the disabled individual can properly benefit from your assets. This will give you peace of mind, knowing that your loved one with special needs will be cared for when you are no longer able to do so.

Don't wait until it's too late to plan your family's future. Talk to an estate planning lawyer in your area as soon as you can to begin talking through the needs of your family. A trust is designed to make sure that your wishes are carried out. A skilled legal professional can help you choose the best type of trust for your specific situation. There are countless types of wills that have the ability to maximize your assets.