Do you have a close family member with special needs who requires care and assistance? If so, you may be interested in creating a “Special Needs Trust.” This legal tool can help you provide for your family members with special needs while allowing them to remain eligible for their benefits.
How Does a Special Needs Trust Work?
In order for someone to qualify for SSI or Medicare, there is a limit to how much they can have in the bank. An inheritance, or large sum payment, can disrupt this balance and jeopardize their benefits. A Special Needs Trust ensures this does not happen.
Instead of transferring inheritance directly to a beneficiary (aka your loved one with special needs), the money will be transferred into a Special Needs Trust with a designated trustee. The trustee will manage the funds on behalf of the beneficiary. And since your loved one will never have direct control over the money, Medicare and SSI administrators will not consider these funds when determining eligibility for benefits.
The trust ends when all the funds are spent or when the beneficiary passes away.
How Can A Special Needs Trust Be Used?
While the trustee cannot give any money directly to your beneficiary, they can use the money to pay for a number of goods or services, including (but not limited to):
-Personal care and home health assistance
-Out-of-pocket medical or dental costs
-Vacations and Recreational Activities
-Education and Training
-Clothes and other belongings
A Special Needs Trust can be incredibly valuable when planning for your loved ones’ future. Protect them with a Special Needs Trust and be sure to seek out an experienced estate planning attorney to help you prepare.