A Special Needs Trust (also known as a supplemental needs trust) is designed to hold and protect financial assets for the benefit of the disabled beneficiary. The trust is a legal structure used to collect and manage the assets and may receive contributions from a variety of sources. Including from the distribution of an estate or a settlement from a personal injury matter. A special needs trust can be used to maintain a disabled person’s government aid.
Protecting a loved one with a special needs trust can ensure there is no lapse in government benefits. We offer your loved one protection, so they can still receive benefits from the government. A Tri Cities special needs planning attorney at Evergreen Elder Law understands how to ensure you receive your government benefits and still receive benefits from a personal injury, settlement, or inheritance.
Why You Should Consider a Special Needs Trust:
- To protect assets that belong to a beneficiary with a disability who needs benefits (such as Medicaid).
- To hold assets such as a personal injury settlement or inheritance awarded to a disabled person already receiving benefits (such as social security disability or Supplemental Security Insurance)
- To receive assets from an elderly disabled person who is trying to qualify for Medicaid themselves.
The main purpose of a Special Needs Trust is to ensure there is no lapse or reduction in benefits and to avoid a penalty period being imposed for benefits because of an improper transfer of funds. When a special needs individual receives an inheritance or a Legal Settlement the beneficiary is considered to be the owner of the assets. If these assets are paid into a special needs trust (SNT), then they are excluded from government aid calculations. The offset is that when the beneficiary dies, assets remaining in the trust can be claimed by the government to reimburse them for medical and other costs paid through government programs.
Working with a Tri Cities special needs planning attorney will help you to ensure your loved ones are taken care of in the best way possible.
Frequently Asked Questions About Special Needs Planning in Kennewick, Pasco & Richland
Who Can Establish a Special Needs Trust in Eastern Washington?
Anyone can establish a special needs trust for the benefit of another. Most families will want to do so under the direction of an attorney in order to properly handle the related tax and estate planning details. Special needs trusts have a variety of important uses and can be an effective planning tool for families who want to ensure a person with disabilities is taken care of in the future.
Can A Special Needs Person Directly Access the Trust?
The special needs beneficiary cannot directly access the Special Needs Trust funds. The funds can be used to pay vendors directly for services such as personal care attendants, medication, physical therapy, vehicles, transportation, travel, clothing, education, medical or dental bills. This type of trust is an excellent tool to increase a person’s quality of life.
Do I Need an Attorney To Set Up an SNT in Tri Cities?
SNTs must be properly drafted in order to protect a beneficiary’s right to receive means-tested public benefits. To best protect the government benefits for which an individual with disabilities may be eligible, it is important to discuss which type of SNT should be used in a specific situation with an attorney who is proficient in special needs planning.
Contact a Tri Cities Special Needs Planning Lawyer Today
If you are receiving any government benefits and anticipate an inheritance call Evergreen Elder Law to obtain help setting up a Special Needs Trust. We help people keep government benefits and still receive an inheritance or settlement. We offer a free one-hour consultation to discuss your options.