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Special Needs Trust

Are you the current guardian, parent, or caretaker of a person who has special needs and requires the support of government money in order to pay for his or her basic needs? If so, a special needs trust should be considered as one of the most important estate planning tools you can use. This is the best way to protect those government funds and the person who truly needs your support the most to avoid problems in the future.

A Pennsylvania special needs trust lawyer can help you in drafting a trust document that is intended to allow financial resources to remain available to help a disabled person under the age of 65 who may receive in the future or who currently receives some form of medical assistance or supplemental security income. In many cases, in order for someone to be eligible for SSI or Medicaid, he or she is limited to owning no more than $2000 in assets.

However, if someone does not understand these implications in the estate planning process and the disabled person is about to receive substantial assets from an inheritance, personal injury lawsuit, life insurance policy, worker's compensation lump sum settlement or divorce settlement and you wish for the person to remain eligible for SSI or medical assistance, it will be necessary to put these assets into a special needs trust.

A special needs trust lawyer in Pennsylvania can help answer your questions and make sure you draft this document properly. A special needs trust attorney in Pennsylvania will explain the process to you and help advise you on how to avoid mistakes. There are several different types of special needs trust known as a common law special needs trust, a payback trust and a pooled trust. There are restrictions on disbursements from the trust and alternate or contingent beneficiaries need to be named in the event that the primary beneficiary passes away.

Estate conflicts and problems can emerge if you’re not careful.

If you are not familiar with how to put together a special needs trust, and have questions about how to do this and how even minor mistakes could end up costing the beneficiary the opportunity to get the support that he or she needs, you need to schedule a consultation with a Pennsylvania special needs trust lawyer. A Pennsylvania special needs trust attorney will likely have drafted many documents like this before and can help advise you about what clauses need to be included and what is ultimately in the best interests of the special needs beneficiary. This can avoid the special needs beneficiary losing all the critical support system as government benefits. These special needs trusts are designed to allow financial resources to remain available to a person who needs these government programs. Special needs trusts that are properly administered and drafted protect a person with disabilities from being disqualified for these benefits through the social security administration or through the department of public welfare. Special needs trust can be created to avoid disqualification entirely. When establishing these trusts, you'll need to ask your attorney questions about a self-funded special needs trust versus a third party funded special needs trust. The stipulations regarding these can be especially complicated. There are many different obstacles that could arise during the creation as well as the maintenance of SNTs. The appropriateness of a SNT must be evaluated first and it should be seriously considered for a disabled beneficiary whenever that person could receive an injury settlement, a social security award for back benefits and inheritance, a compensatory education fund, or a revisionary interest in property. Talk to a knowledgeable lawyer in Pennsylvania to learn more.

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