Special Needs Trusts

Special needs trusts provide an option to set aside and manage assets on behalf of a loved one with special needs. The special needs trust may be used to pay for expenses for your loved one, including:

  • A primary residence (there are some value limitations with Medicaid eligibility)
  • A vehicle
  • Home and personal goods
  • Education or occupational training
  • Products and services to support starting a business (self-employment)

Trust monies used to pay for rent (shelter), food, or several other types of living expenses are counted as income, potentially jeopardizing government assistance to the individual (Supplemental Security Income (SSI)). A special needs trust is popular with parents who have children (or adult children) with special needs who worry what will happen to their child once they, as caretakers, are gone.

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Benefits of a Special Needs Trust

There are two primary benefits to a special needs trust. First, a trustee is assigned to manage the funds. While the individual with special needs will not have direct access to the trust fund, a trustee will be assigned to handle distributions and management of the trust. The trustee may be a trusted individual or a third-party like an attorney. Second, because the individual with special needs does not have direct access to the funds, this money is not counted as an asset when the Social Security Administration calculates eligibility for government assistance through Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

A special needs trust is only one option to help protect your loved one. Contact Averett Family Law to schedule an appointment to learn more.

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