Setting up a Trust for individuals with various special needs can often be a complex and emotionally challenging process for many. It requires careful consideration of the legal and financial implications and a deep understanding of the unique needs of individuals with disabilities.
Subsequently, working with a competent special needs trust attorney with unmatched experience in this field is paramount. These professionals have unparalleled skills and knowledge in drafting agreements to help ordinary folks make financial arrangements for their loved ones with developmental or intellectual issues.
The following points highlight the critical reasons you should work with an attorney when establishing such a Trust.
Why the Trust Matters
These arrangements can provide financial security for your loved one with special needs. They can help pay for medical care, therapy, education, housing, and other expenses that public benefits may not cover. They can also provide a source of income for your loved one if you pass away.
Additionally, they help protect your loved one’s eligibility for public benefits. For instance, if your loved one inherits money or collects a settlement from a lawsuit, it could affect their eligibility for Medicaid or SSI. By placing the funds in such Trusts, your loved one can still receive those benefits.
Understanding the Law and Regulations
Federal and state laws have specific rules about creating, funding and managing such Trusts. A legal expert can help you avoid any mistakes that could have severe consequences and ensure you comply with all the legal requirements and regulations.
They also give valuable advice on structuring the Trust so that it does not affect your loved one’s eligibility for Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
Customizing the Trust to Meet Your Needs
Every individual with special needs has unique circumstances and requirements, and a lawyer can help you design a Trust that meets those needs. For example, the attorney can structure the agreement to cover expenses if your loved one requires ongoing medical care or therapy.
These experienced pros can also help you choose the right Trust based on your situation. There are three main types: first-party, third-party, and pooled trusts and a lawyer can explain the differences and help you decide which type is best for you.
Properly Funding the Trust
Legal professionals can advise you on the best way to fund the Trust based on your financial situation. For example, if you have a life insurance policy or retirement account, you can name it as the beneficiary. Also, contributions to such Trusts may be subject to gift or estate tax, so it is vital to work with a specialist who can guide you through the tax implications of your contributions.
Rely on a Competent Attorney
Selecting the right special needs trust attorney to set up a Trust is imperative. It ensures you partner with someone with considerable experience in this field and who is familiar with the federal and state laws and regulations related to such trusts. Look for a professional with a solid track record of working with families of individuals with special needs and willing to take the time to understand your unique situation and needs.
You should also consider their communication style and fee structure before deciding. Some also provide free initial consultations to help you understand the process better and what to expect from them. Therefore, a capable attorney can make all the difference in ensuring your loved one is well cared for in the future.