Special Needs Trust
Anyone who has disabilities will not be able to qualify for government assistance if their assets or income exceed a specific limit. A special needs trust can help you preserve eligibility for government programs while paying for extras and spending money to improve their quality of life.
Here at Daniel Albert Law Firm, our attorneys have helped several families in Houston to create special needs trusts for those with disabilities. With over 15 years of experience in estate law, we will ensure the trust is set up correctly to serve all the needs while protecting your family’s wealth.
What Is A Special Needs Trust?
A special needs trust (also known as supplemental needs trust) is an estate planning tool that allows disabled people to access funds without disqualifying them for Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits. This eligibility is critical if an individual receives group home, nursing home, assisted living, or any other home health care services.
The assets are submitted in a trust, separate from the estate of the disabled. A trustee will oversee the trust and authorize all distributions to the person or on their behalf. The disbursement of assets can pay for things that government assistance doesn’t cover, such as personal care items, furnishings, personal electronics, travel expenses, medical equipment, movies and recreational outings, restaurant school, and much more.
Types of Special Needs Trusts
There are two different types of special needs trusts. Both of these types have been explained below:
A third-party special needs trust is one of the most common choices. Relatives fund it on behalf of the special needs beneficiary. It is a type of irrevocable trust, which means that the gifting parties will not have any access to or the ability to recall those funds. Nevertheless, you can always set up a trust that reverts the money to those who funded the trust if the beneficiary dies. If not set up correctly, these trusts may have to reimburse Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid for services rendered, which in most cases ends up emptying the trust.
The second type of trust is first-party special needs trust which is appropriate if a disabled person has any substantial assets under their name, from proceeds of a lawsuit or inheritance. In such a trust, the beneficiary funds their own trust, but they will transfer all control and access of these assets to the fiduciary. The main difference is that if the disabled person dies, a first-party trust must reimburse Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare.
Do You Need A Special Needs Trust?
The key reason why you must have such trusts is to preserve eligibility for government benefits such as Medicaid subsidy of nursing care and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The added value of a special needs trust is that it can help you protect your assets from lawsuits, creditors, scammers, and predatory relatives.
The Daniel Albert Law Firm team has been in the field for years. Give us a call at 832-930-3059 to speak to our experts right away! Our estate planning attorneys will be happy to sit with you and discuss in detail how you wish to protect your family assets without jeopardizing your eligibility for public assistance.