Understanding Special Needs Trusts and Qualifying for Government Assistance

Taking care of a loved one who has special needs is a primary concern for all of the immediate family members. Trusts and especially special needs trusts may be a powerful strategy used to ensure that your family member has the support he or she needs without being disqualified from critical government programs such as Medicaid.

Usually, the rules for a proper special needs trust mandate that trust assets cannot be used for anything that a government program could pay on behalf of the disabled beneficiary such as long-term care, shelter and food. Usually, the trustee of a special needs trust could pay for home furnishings, vacations, extraordinary therapy, recreation, vehicles and the like.

In order for a special needs trust to effectively accomplish this objective to avoid disqualification from supplemental security income or Medicaid, there must be clear and specific requirements and language outlined in the trust. Inclusion of a wrongly permitted use of funds could eliminate all of the protections on which the special needs trust was founded. This is why it’s always important to sit down and draft these documents directly with the help of an experienced estate planning attorney, who can walk you through every aspect of what the language means and how that is likely to be interpreted by the government.

Scheduling a consultation with an estate planning attorney who has a track record of thoroughly reviewing the individual situations of a special needs beneficiary in order to come up with the right tools is extremely important for the future of your family member.

Should We Use Life Insurance to Fund a Special Needs Trust?

insurance policyGuardians or parents of special needs children have many different challenges and special concerns when it comes to estate planning. Some of the most important concerns have to do with what will happen to the adult child after the parents or guardian passes away. Thinking ahead involves careful consideration of the best tool for protecting your loved one’s interests without compromising any of the other benefits that your loved one may rely on. This is why you should consult with an estate planning attorney in Massachusetts as soon as possible about your options to learn more.

Some Tips for Selecting Insurance

There are several different kinds of insurance that can be helpful for individuals planning ahead for a special needs beneficiary. One of the most important aspects of opting to use an insurance policy to fund a special needs trust is ensuring that the appropriate death benefit has been linked to policy.

Protect Government Benefits

Government benefits could be in jeopardy if the special needs beneficiary is named as a person instead of having a trust created for their benefit. Life insurance can be a critical component of funds to be put into a trust for the benefit of a loved one with special needs. Planning ahead for a special needs beneficiary involves important consideration questions about not jeopardizing the beneficiary’s eligibility for government programs. Consulting with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney about your options is the best way to avoid problems.