A specialized form of trust that can be set up to provide for the supplemental care of a person with special needs, without affecting his or her eligibility for public benefits, such as SSI and Medicaid.
Many individuals who are eligible for public benefits like SSI or Medicaid have their own sources of income, such as wages from a job, inheritance, or an accident settlement. If the individual simply spends this money on living expenses, it could cause him or her to exceed the eligibility limits for these programs. The purpose of the trust is to allow these individuals to maintain these benefits while still receiving needed assistance.
An attorney establishes the trust agreement using a third party as trustee. As long as the funds in the trust are not used to pay for food and shelter, they would not count against the individual’s income limit. The trustee can then spend those funds on certain expenses related to special needs – medical equipment and services, special education classes and camps, vacations, computer equipment, etc.
A special needs trust is an irrevocable trust that holds funds for the benefit of an individual with disabilities. A Massachusetts Special Needs Trust is unique in that it can be used to hold assets that belong to anyone—even if you are under 65 years old and not yet disabled. A special needs trust can be used to ensure your disabled loved one receives care without losing public benefits such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
To establish a special needs trust, the grantor must create an irrevocable trust naming a trustee who will handle all finances and distributions from the trust. The grantor must also appoint someone to act as successor trustee who would handle the assets should the original trustee become unable to fulfill their duties. In addition, there must be one or more beneficiaries named who will receive distributions from the trust according to its terms.
This trust is for people with disabilities who have been awarded a settlement from a personal injury claim or other legal settlement. The money from the settlement is used to provide for the long-term care of the person with a disability. The trust is set up for a person who has been injured and cannot work, and does not need additional money for medical expenses—the money in the trust would be used to provide additional income and lifestyle benefits. This would be money that is not needed for housing, food, clothing, and medical expenses.
The individual receiving this type of trust must be under age 65 and have a disability that prevents them from being able to live independently or support themselves financially.
There are two types of Massachusetts Special Needs Trusts: first-party and third-party trusts. A first-party trust is created with money that belongs to the beneficiary, such as funds from a personal injury settlement, or by paying off credit card debt in exchange for a deed. A third-party trust is created with funds belonging to someone other than the beneficiary, such as a parent or grandparent.
Massachusetts Special Needs Trusts allow you to provide for your loved one without affecting their eligibility for public benefits. For example, if someone with disabilities inherits money from a relative—or receives a settlement from an insurance claim or personal injury suit—a Massachusetts Special Needs Trust can be used to manage and preserve those funds, so that the person with disabilities continues to receive SSI and Medicaid.
The Massachusetts Special Needs Trust can be used for individuals who have disabilities or special needs and wish to receive government benefits. It can be helpful in situations where a disabled person receives a settlement from a lawsuit. The money from this trust should not be spent on food, shelter, or clothing.
A Massachusetts Special Needs Trust (SNT) is an irrevocable trust, which means that it cannot be amended or revoked once it is created. It is used to hold assets and funds for a disabled individual. A SNT allows the disabled individual to have access to the trust funds, while still allowing them to qualify for public benefits such as Medicaid, Social Security Income, or Supplemental Security Income.