A Special Needs Trust, also sometimes referred to as a supplemental needs trust, allows the beneficiary, an individual with special needs, to receive necessary financial assistance or support without risking their eligibility for public assistance programs. Many public assistance disability programs require the individual’s income to remain below set limits. The assets in a Special Needs Trust do not count towards the special needs individual’s qualifications for disability assistance programs. In this way, the creator of the trust is able to provide supplemental support to the disabled party without putting their public assistance in jeopardy. However, there are some limitations. For example, the funds cannot be used for expenses such as food or shelter. Instead, the assets in the trust can be used for things like transportation, paying for caretakers, and for medical expenses. Once a Special Needs Trust has been created, the creator will choose a trustee to manage and disperse the funds as needed.
A Special Needs Trust is often a popular option as it can benefit everyone involved. On one hand, the special needs individual doesn’t have to worry about losing their eligibility for disability assistance programs. On the other hand, the creator, who wishes to put assets into the trust to help the disable individual, gets the reassurance that those funds will be used the way they intended. A Special Needs Trust is irrevocable, which means that it cannot be amended or revoked once it has been signed.
It is always important to remember to speak to a professional about the many estate planning options available to you and your loved ones! If you are looking to learn more about a Special Needs Trust or any of our other estate planning services, contact Horn & Johnsen today: https://hornjohnsen.com/contact-us/