Special Needs Trusts & Estate Planning
Special needs trusts are setup to prevent disabled persons from losing their "means tested" government benefits, like SSI and Medicaid. If you aren't, and likely won't, need these benefits, you may not need a special needs trust. But, if you are a disabled person and are unable to work, Medicaid might be the only health benefits you qualify for. If you were to receive assets or income directly from an injury settlement, a gift, or an inheritance your Medicaid benefits could cease. The same would apply for SSI benefits. You need a special needs trust to protect you from losing your benefits from any unexpected income.
There are two types of special needs trusts - third-party trusts, and self-settled or d4A trusts. The difference between the two types of trusts is the source of funds used to establish the trust. Third-party special needs trusts are established with assets of a third-party like a parent, or grandparent. These are easier to establish and have greater flexibility in their administration than self-settled trusts. Self-settled trusts are setup with the assets that a disabled person has come into, like an injury settlement, inheritance or gift. These trusts are last chance opportunities the government allows so that disabled persons can keep their benefits. These trusts are more expensive to establish and more restrictive in their administration.
ESTABLISH A TRUST BEFORE YOU NEED ONE! Whether setting up a trust for a disabled person or for yourself or your family, the most crucial part is setting it up before you need it or before you lose the opportunity. If a Medicaid beneficiary or an SSI beneficiary receives a well intended gift or inheritance outside of a trust those assets may have to be spent on medical bills instead of on the quality of life you were hoping to provide. If you're trying to avoid the time, cost, and state directives entailed in probate, you need to establish a will or trust now.
My practice has helped people in Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, and Summit counties. I've worked for individuals from Ogden, Roy, Farmington, Layton, Centerville, Bountiful, North Salt Lake, Woods Cross, Clinton, Salt Lake City, Holladay, West Jordan, Taylorsville, and Park City. I have the knowledge and experience to help you.