Any person who has responsibility for someone with a disabling medical condition, like a parent of a child with cerebral palsy, for example, may want to set up what’s called a Special Needs Trust for that disabled person. The advantage of a Special Needs Trust is that it can maximize the financial resources available to a person with a disability, because it preserves eligibility for Supplementary Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid while paying for many costs that are not covered under these programs.
These trusts can be set up with funds belonging to the disabled person, or with funds that belong to the parent or a third party. There are strict requirements that have to be met, including that the beneficiary has to meet a legal definition of disability. Another requirement is that the beneficiary can have no control over the assets of the trust — that control is exercised by an independent trustee. There are also limitations on the type of expenses that can be paid out of the trust’s funds.
It can be complicated to set up a Special Needs Trust, but it is worth the trouble as a way to supplement government benefits, and to pay for goods and services that will improve the quality of life of a disabled person.
If you or a person you know needs advice about setting up a Special Needs Trust, it’s important to seek expert legal counsel. We work with individuals and families to set up Special Needs Trusts. To discuss your specific case, call us today at (678)781-9230 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
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