Florham Park Disabled Needs Trust Attorneys
Special needs trusts, sometimes referred to as "supplemental needs trusts," create financial arrangements that improve the quality of life for disabled persons. At the law office of Levine & Levine, our attorneys structure special needs trusts to pay for food, clothing, luxury items, and other living expenses without putting a beneficiary's Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility at risk. Our lawyers evaluate your financial situation and long-term goals to determine how best to structure a special needs trust for you. Stocks, bonds, cash, as well as a home or apartment can all be included in the trust fund. Understanding how best to allocate these and other resources requires a full understanding of what a special needs trust can do for its beneficiary.
If you have questions regarding special needs trusts, contact estate planning attorneys at Levine & Levine today. We can review your financial situation and existing estate plan and discuss the steps you can take to secure your family's financial or healthcare future.
Using a Supplemental Needs Trust
Depending on the situation, who arranges a supplemental needs trusts can make a difference in what money is recovered — if any — after the beneficiary passes away. In general, there are three different situations in which a supplemental needs trust is established:
- Established by Disabled Beneficiary: A special needs trust can be established by the disabled beneficiary himself, using his own resources. No Medicaid or SSI eligibility penalty is incurred. However, once the beneficiary passes away, the State can recover the cost of the beneficiary's Medicaid expenses from the remaining funds in the trust. Even so, by law there is no limit to the amount of income or principle that can be paid by the trust for the beneficiary while he is alive.
- Established by a Parent: Parents concerned about a disabled child's welfare can establish a supplemental needs trust without jeopardizing the child's Medicaid and SSI benefits. In this situation, a parent can transfer assets to the trust confident that should they pass away first, their child's future will be taken care of by the assets in the trust. Additionally, under these circumstances when the beneficiary dies, Medicaid cannot recover its costs from the trust. A parent can indicate how the funds are to be allocated in the event of the death of the beneficiary, perhaps transferring them to another child or loved one.
- Transferring Assets by the Disabled Beneficiary: Under the law, a disabled person can choose to transfer his assets to a supplemental needs trust arranged for another disabled person under the age of 65. Doing so will not disqualify the person who creates the trust from receiving Medicaid nursing home or in-house care benefits.
Special Needs Trusts — Providing for the Future
If you have questions regarding how you can use a special needs trust to secure a family member's future, contact estate planning attorneys at Levine & Levine today. Our knowledge of trusts, finances and Medicaid law places our firm in a strong position to assist individuals in these matters.