Families whose members include disabled individuals may find that a Special Needs Trust is an excellent means for ensuring that that individuals assets. We bring knowledge and compassion to our clients whose families would benefit from a Special Needs Trust.
We will work with your family in order to determine if your family member qualifies as a beneficiary for a Special Needs Trust under the definition set out in the Social Security Act.
We can help determine which type of Special Needs Trust would work best in your estate plan and within your particular circumstances. There are two types of trusts, the Self-Settled Special Needs Trust and the Third Party Special Needs Trust.
The Self-Settled Special Needs Trust is an irrevocable trust created with the beneficiary’s assets. If your disabled family member has received a settlement, a gift or an inheritance, those funds can be used to fund the trust. These funds are used to supplement, but not to replace, the public disability benefits the beneficiary receives. The trust must be set up to repay the public disability benefits the beneficiary received once that person passes away.
A Third Party Special Needs trust can be revocable or irrevocable, but it becomes irrevocable upon the death of the grantor – the individual who funded the trust. It is funded not by the beneficiary’s assets, but by a third party’s assets. This trust has no payback provision, as in the Self-Settled Special Needs Trust. It is often created by the parents of the disabled child, but other family members may establish or help fund the trust. There are also methods of drafting this type of trust in order to obtain advantageous tax benefits.