Special Needs Trusts are a subset of estate planning and should be considered when a family has special needs. Special Needs Trusts are designed to prevent disabled persons from losing their “means tested” government benefits, like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. If you aren’t, and likely won’t, need these benefits, you may not need a special needs trust. However, if you are a disabled person and are unable to work, Medicaid might be the only health benefits you qualify for. If you were to receive assets or income directly from an injury settlement, a gift, or an inheritance your Medicaid and SSI benefits could cease. You need a special needs trust to protect you from losing your benefits.
There are two major types of special needs trusts – third-party trusts, and self-settled or d4A trusts. Which trust you would use typically depends on the source of funds or assets used to establish the trust. Third-party special needs trusts are established with assets of a third-party like a parent, or grandparent. Self-settled trusts are setup with the assets that a disabled person has obtained, like an injury settlement, inheritance or gift. The government allows self-settled trusts as a last chance opportunity for a person to keep their government benefits.
ESTABLISH A TRUST BEFORE YOU NEED ONE! Whether setting up a trust for a disabled person or for yourself or your family, the most crucial part is setting up the trust before you need it or before you lose the opportunity. If a Medicaid or SSI recipient receives a well-intended gift or inheritance outside of a trust those assets may have to be spent on medical bills instead of on the quality of life you were hoping to provide.
Iuvo Law is ready and happy to assist you in your estate planning and special need trust needs. We have helped people in Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, and Summit counties; and worked with individuals from Ogden, Roy, Farmington, Layton, Centerville, Bountiful, North Salt Lake, Woods Cross, Clinton, Salt Lake City, Holladay, West Jordan, Taylorsville, and Park City.