Special Needs Trusts Basics

Charleston Special Needs TrustSpecial needs trusts, or supplemental needs trusts, are an estate planning device that aids the process of securing a future for a loved one with disabilities. The direct ownership of substantial monetary assets unfortunately will disqualify your loved one from receiving government health protections, including a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. Special needs trusts effectively remove this concern by establishing an irrevocable trust fund that will not disqualify your loved one from receiving government benefits while still providing a stable financial resource for them in the future. Our Charleston Estate Planning Attorneys can help individuals and families structure a special needs trust to help ensure your loved ones receive the financial support and health protection that they deserve.

Understanding the Trustee

A Special Needs Trust, as a form of an irrevocable trust, removes the beneficiary from implicit name ownership in order to meet government benefit qualifications. Through a Last Will & Testament, families can select a trustee to administer special needs trusts. The trustee serves a critical role in balancing the deposit account, the brokerage account, the retirement plan, stock, bonds and other assets, for special needs trusts. It is also important that the trustee has a firm legal comprehension of the special needs trust to meet government qualifications. The trustee should be prepared to offer support for the day-to-day needs of the beneficiary and also be ready to perform other legal duties, such as paying taxes, keeping records, and managing investments.

Appointing a trustee may be one of the most important yet difficult decisions in the process of forming a special needs trust. A pooled trust can offer noteworthy relief in this regard by partnering a special needs trust with a nonprofit organization. These nonprofit organizations pool the money from several families into one collective investment, while creating separate accounts for each family. The nonprofit organization also selects an experienced trustee to purchase necessities and offer supplemental care for the beneficiary, just as a close family member would do.  Our Charleston Estate Planning Attorneys can offer legal counsel for individuals and families to better understand the trustee appointment and other special needs trust structuring matters.

Special needs trusts or supplemental needs trusts offer the flexibility and legal protection needed to guarantee financial security and healthcare access for your loved ones with disabilities. By incorporating available public resources with private funds, our Charleston Estate Planning Attorneys can help prepare them for an independent future with a stable financial plan.

 The Importance of Public and Private Funds

Oftentimes, government benefits, such as an SSI and Medicaid,  are the primary source of funding for present and future needs of the disabled.  Many local, state and national laws encourage the creation of special needs trusts as an indispensable supplement to the available public and private funds for the disabled. This combination of public and private funds forms the foundation of estate planning for the family, especially when estate planning requires continued attention for those with special needs. Our Charleston Estate Planning Attorneys provide the legal representation for individuals and families seeking to maximize the accessible public and private resources with a personalized special needs trust.