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Managing Care For Individuals With Special Needs

Many clients want to financially provide for loved ones with special needs without interfering with their eligibility for government benefits such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). In other scenarios, a disabled individual needs to protect their own assets in order to be eligible for additional benefits to pay for the exorbitant cost of care. Planning with special needs trusts is often the solution in these complicated scenarios.

Experience quality legal care and personalized solutions at Hill & Watchko, LLC. You or your loved one can benefit from our lawyers’ collective decades of experience in special needs care planning. Speak with one of them by calling 770-450-4480.

Think About Your Future Today

Some of our special needs planning services include:

  • Preparation of third-party special needs trusts (inter vivos and testamentary)
  • Preparation of self-settled special needs trusts (aka first-party special needs trusts)
  • Advice regarding eligibility for government benefits
  • Coordination with other professionals regarding special needs issues, including personal injury attorneys in the settlement process
  • Assistance to special needs trustees

We are known for our lawyers’ attentive service and detailed approach to the law. We provide a full range of legal services for family law and estate planning issues. Create a path forward.

Special Needs Trust FAQ

You probably have several questions about special needs trusts before proceeding. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that our attorneys receive about this type of trust.

Can a family provide financially for a disabled child without disqualifying them from public benefits?

It can be tricky. Public programs like Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are need based, and having too high of an income because of parental gifts can disqualify a disabled child from much-needed assistance. However, supplementing a child’s income through a special needs trust can get around income limits.

Who can create a special needs trust?

This depends on which type of special needs trust you create. A self-settled special needs trust can be established by the beneficiary’s parent, grandparent or legal guardian. A third-party special needs trust can be created by anyone other than the beneficiary.

What are the key components that need to be included when drafting a special needs trust?

A special needs trust requires the following:

  • A grantor: The person who creates and funds the trust
  • A beneficiary: The person for whose benefit the trust was created
  • A trustee or trustees (and successor trustee): The individual who will administer the trust
  • A remainder beneficiary: A secondary beneficiary for after the original beneficiary’s death; for a self-settled special needs trust, the first remainder beneficiary is typically the state’s Medicaid division

What are some common mistakes to avoid when setting up a special needs trust?

Perhaps the worst mistake is not doing anything to provide for a special needs child. Other common errors include choosing a type of special needs trust that does not adequately fit your child’s needs and focusing on preserving eligibility for only one public benefit while forgetting others that your child might need.

Plan Ahead With Our Assistance

For legal solutions that emphasize your needs, speak with our attorneys. You can schedule an initial consultation easily by calling 770-450-4480 or contacting us online.