By: Matt Luedke
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Special Needs Trust Planning in Washington State
A Special Needs Trust (which is also commonly known as a ‘supplemental needs trust’) is simply a trust fund setup for use by a disabled recipient.
It’s imperative that you create a Special Needs Trust which will ensure that your disabled beneficiary maintains their ability to access a wide range of assets for their healthcare needs, without the possibility of excluding them from much-needed government benefits.
The 3 Most Common Reasons to Create a Special Needs Trust are:
- Protection of Assets belonging to a disabled beneficiary who requires benefits (Medicaid for example).
- To secure assets like personal injury settlements or inheritance monies awarded to a disabled person who already receives benefits (which might include Supplemental Security Insurance or Social Security Disability)
- To obtain assets from a disabled or elderly person who is also seeking to qualify for Medicaid.
The key purpose behind a Special Needs Trust is to guarantee that there will be no lapses or benefit reductions, as well as avoiding any penalization periods which may have been incurred for benefits – which can result from an inappropriate transfer of funds.
If your own loved ones are currently being paid government aid or assistance and will also be gaining an inheritance or even a personal injury settlement reimbursement, we highly recommend you contact our firm today to help you begin the process for your own Special Needs Trust.
Additional Notes on Planning for a Special Needs Trust
Families who have a family member with a disability must plan for the future very carefully. How assets are left after your death can have a tremendous impact on the quality of life for that person. In the past, a Will may have been enough, but times have changed. To protect a person with special needs, a well-defined estate plan is vital.
How A Special Needs Trust Works
A Special Needs Trust allows a parent, grandparent or guardian to provide funds for a disabled child without disrupting the child’s eligibility for government aid. Setting one up is a fairly simple process. Important points to remember while investigating the use of this estate planning tool are:
- Decide on an appropriate guardian for your child
- Determine who would be a suitable Trustee(s) to manage the Trust’s assets and supervise your child’s finances
- Outline instructions for your child’s education, housing, personal and emotional needs
Our law firm helps families address the financial, legal and social aspects of a person’s life to develop an effective plan for the future. Our goal is to ensure that their needs are met and that they have the opportunity to expand their horizons and follow their dreams.
Legal Areas we’re available to help with:
- Probate Estate Administration
- Disinheriting a Child
- Estate Planning
- Durable Power of Attorney
Planning your inheritance? Check out these helpful tips: Inheritance Planning Insights