With an issue as important as setting up a special needs trust for your child, there’s no room for error. You might think you’re saving money by doing it yourself, but the fact is that if you make a mistake in creating the trust, it will cost you more money in the long run than hiring a lawyer from the start.
You need to meet with an estate-planning lawyer with experience creating special needs trusts to discuss your specific situation and make sure that the trust is designed to meet your particular needs and achieve your goals. Every family is different, so every trust needs to be customized.
If you try to set up a trust yourself, you could easily overlook some crucial detail or miss something that would cause problems later on—which means that when you finally do go see a lawyer, they might have to completely redo all of your work, or even worse, they’ll tell you that they can’t help you because of some issue with the way you set up the trust initially.
By setting up a special needs trust, you can ensure that your loved one receives all the benefits they’re entitled to while still receiving an inheritance. However, there are many complex laws and regulations that surround creating a special needs trust in order to keep your loved one eligible for government benefits. A lawyer can help you understand the legal requirements, as well as the tax consequences associated with creating a special needs trust.
If you choose to set up a special needs trust yourself, make sure you understand all the requirements for avoiding problems with this kind of trust. For example, the funds in the trust must be used only for items related to improving the quality of life or health of the beneficiary. If they’re used any other way, it could cause problems with accessing government benefits.
Some people choose to set up a special needs trust themselves using pre-printed forms and software available at legal supply stores and online. While these can help you through the process, it’s important to realize that they may not cover all your state’s requirements and offer only limited advice about what you need to do to make sure your trust complies with federal laws related to Medicaid and SSI.
If you or your family member are receiving state or federal benefits, these benefits may be affected by the creation of a special needs trust. A lawyer who is familiar with the specific state and federal laws that apply can guide you through the process of setting up a trust without jeopardizing your eligibility for benefits.
Additionally, an attorney can help you avoid common mistakes in drafting a special needs trust agreement. If an error is made in the draft of the agreement, this could result in unintended consequences or even the invalidation of your trust agreement.
A lawyer can help you set up your special needs trust, but they aren’t absolutely required. However, an attorney who specializes in estate planning and elder law can help evaluate the specific needs of your family and provide guidance on how to ensure those needs will be met when you’re no longer able to personally care for them.
A special needs trust is a way of preserving assets for a disabled individual without disqualifying them from government benefits like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). For example, if your child has been receiving SSI since age 18, you cannot transfer money or other assets directly to them without risking their eligibility. Instead, you can set up a special needs trust that holds property and manages income on behalf of your child. They will not own the money in the trust but will benefit from it as the beneficiary.
A special needs trust is designed to hold assets for someone who has an impairment or disability. By using this type of trust, the person who has the disability can still get government benefits and other types of assistance even though they have access to funds through the trust. A special needs trust ensures that these assets are used for the benefit of the person with the disability without affecting their eligibility for government services.
There are many types of special needs trusts that you can use, depending on your situation and circumstances. Special needs trusts are often set up by parents or grandparents of a disabled child or grandchild, but they can also be established by adult siblings or friends as well.
When a person with disabilities receives direct payments from an insurance settlement or any other source, it will be considered income and could affect their eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).