Considering A Special Needs Trust For A Loved One?
Taking care of a loved one with disabilities can be a complicated undertaking. Despite your generous intentions, if you give them money outright, you could end up disqualifying them from critical public benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, job training and subsidized housing. A special needs trust allows you to provide financial support while ensuring that your loved one’s benefits are not jeopardized.
If you’re considering a special needs trust, I can help. I am Leigh Hunt Goodson, an estate planning attorney and founder of The Goodson Firm, P.C., in Tyler, Texas. I have committed my career to helping people navigate estate planning and related issues, including special care planning.
What A Special Needs Trust Can Do
To be valid, a Texas special needs trust must stay within certain legal parameters. The funds can’t be too open-ended. Rather, they must be limited to certain supplemental needs such as:
- Medical and dental procedures not covered by insurance
- Physical rehabilitation
- Personal care attendant salaries
- Home furnishings
When carefully planned, a special needs trust can greatly enhance the quality of your loved one’s life long after you’re gone. The trust can provide for expenditures above and beyond what’s covered by your loved one’s public benefits.
Types Of Special Needs Trusts
There are two main ways to create a special needs trust:
- A self-funded trust is established with assets belonging to the beneficiary (the person with a disability) – for example, an inheritance or personal injury award. This type of trust must be repaid after the beneficiary’s death to reimburse the government for public benefits.
- A third-party trust is established with assets belonging to someone else – typically, a parent or family member. This type of trust does not need to be repaid to the government.
When setting up either type of trust for a loved one, you will also need to choose a trustee (who can be you, during your lifetime) and successor trustees. If you choose to serve as a trustee, you must comply with fiduciary duties and other legal requirements in managing and administering the trust. I can help you with all aspects of the special needs trust, from creating it to administering it.
Take The Next Step Toward Providing For Your Loved One With Special Needs
If you’re interested in working with a dedicated, knowledgeable lawyer who understands the intricacies of special needs trusts, you have come to the right place. I can help you not only with this type of trust but also with all of your estate planning needs.