Special Needs Planning
Pabian & Russell's attorneys appreciate the concerns facing families with a special needs child, sibling or parent. Our attorneys and staff are here to help you protect and provide for the long-term financial security of these most vulnerable family members.
The long-term financial needs of individuals with mental or physical disabilities have led to the development of trusts that can fund supplemental care and services for disabled beneficiaries without reducing their eligibility for government aid. This is especially important for individuals who might qualify for long-term care or nursing home benefits under the Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid program (called MassHealth in Massachusetts).
Even families that may not be interested in government benefits should consider special needs trusts. Unlike other types of trusts, special needs trusts address the specific needs of the disabled person. These trusts can be created to hire advocates for the disabled family member, and provide income for education, counseling, and other comforts and luxuries for your loved one including transportation, recreation, and trips or vacations. These trusts also help protect vulnerable family members from predators who might try to take advantage of them financially.
Special Needs Trusts
Special needs trusts (also known as supplemental needs trusts) enable families to leave money and other assets to disabled dependants without jeopardizing their eligibility for government benefits. Often eligibility for programs such as Medicaid, supplemental security income (SSI), or public housing is based in part on limited assets. Special needs trusts allow assets to be available for a disabled beneficiary without being counted for purposes of establishing eligibility for government programs. These trusts give you the peace of mind knowing that your child or loved one will maintain the same quality of life when you are no longer able to care for them.
As with any estate plan, it is critical to choose the appropriate trust that is best suited for your family's particular situation. The following is a list of various supplemental needs trust options:
- Third Party Trusts
- Sole Benefit Trusts
- Self-Settled Supplemental Needs Trusts
- Pay-Back Trusts or (d)(4)(A) Trusts
- (d)(4)(C) Trusts
Trust Administration & Support
Pabian and Russell's attorneys understand that our job does not end when we have finished drafting your trust. We continue to work with family members who are trustees to advise them on how to handle complex issues related to trust distributions, tax filings, and accounting requirements for public benefit programs.
Special needs trusts are complex legal documents governed by regulations that vary state by state. Additionally, Medicaid and SSI rules regarding transfers and eligibility can cause considerable confusion. To learn more please call Pabian & Russell today.Learn more about permissable SSI trust distributions.