Special Needs Trusts are essential for providing and protecting funds or assets to children with special needs.
–Protecting Eligibility for Public Benefits: Many public benefits, including both Social Security (SSI), and certain home and community benefits through MassHealth or other state Medicaid insurance plans, require that applicants have total assets of less than $2000.00, with very few exceptions allowed. Federally Subsidized Housing Programs, such as Section 8, also base eligibility on applicants’ income.
Because SSI and MassHealth can be prerequisites for many other programs and benefits in the state of Massachusetts, it is especially imperative to preserve continued access for people with special needs.
Assets which are held in a Third-Party Special Needs Trust are not counted toward total income when determining eligibility for these programs. Thus, placing assets in a Special Needs Trust can protect your loved one from being denied eligibility to these and other vital services.
–Creditor Protection: Assets placed in a well-drafted Special Needs Trust by the parents, siblings, or other benefactors of a disabled person are protected from creditors, including institutional organizations, as well as divorcing spouses.
–Privacy: A Special Needs Trust is a private matter between the Trustee, the Beneficiary, and the creator(s) of the Trust. Unlike, for example, a conservatorship through the Probate Court, a Special Needs Trust is not a matter of public record.
–Asset Management: While many persons with special needs have a high level of independence and live quite well on their own, managing money, especially if it is a large sum, can be stressful for anyone. Regular, steady distribution from a trust may make budgeting easier, and help make money one less thing for your loved one to have to worry about.
If you have a child, sibling, or loved one with a disability for whom you wish to provide continuing financial support, Kostas & Melcher Law, LLC can help you to decide whether a Special Needs Trust is right for you, as well as assist in any other legal matters involved in planning for your loved-one’s future.
Contact one of our experienced attorneys today to learn more about how a Special Needs Trust could protect your loved ones.