Do you, or does someone that you love, care for someone with special needs? Have
you ever heard of Special Needs Trusts? Put simply, a trust is an arrangement that allows a third party to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary. Special Needs Trusts are designed specifically for the benefit of the disabled or the mentally challenged. The beneficiary is one who receives public assistance because he is unable to sustain meaningful employment due to his disability. A Special Needs Trust shelters assets for the individual without making him ineligible for public benefits.
As the trustee, you are the decision-maker in terms of how the funds of the trust are distributed. However, it is important to note, assets from the trust can only be used for additional needs. These additional needs (also referred to as supplemental needs) would only include goods and services not provided through Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid. As you can see by the following examples, additional needs can include a wide range of expenses:
Payments for tuition, books and supplies
Transportation to and from school
Health insurance premiums
Books, magazines, records and videos
Season tickets for plays, museums and sporting events
Televisions, DVD players, DVD’s, sound systems, or computers
Cost for travel companions
Automobiles, handicap vans, bus passes
Motor vehicle maintenance and gasoline
Cleaning supplies and paper products
Support services, dental care, physical therapy, massage, and other medical costs to the extent not covered by some other public benefit program;
Telephone, cable television, Internet service;
Making up the difference when moving between private and semi-private rooms in institutional settings.
Special Needs Trusts can be funded by someone other than the beneficiary or they can also be self-settled. A self-settled trust is one in which assets from the beneficiary are used to fund the trust. Keep in mind, a self-settled trust tend to have many more restrictions than that of a third party trust.
Are you, or is someone you love, in need of a Special Needs Trust? Are there provisions that need to be made in the life of a loved one that a Special Needs Trust can provide? We are here to help! Contact….
Together, we can truly make a lasting impact in the lives of our loved ones who need us the most.