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Special needs trusts are designed as a way for a person with physical or mental disabilities to receive financial support in a manner that will not threaten the continuation of any income-contingent government benefits. The income threshold for programs like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid are very low, and can sometimes fail to cover all necessary expenses of those who receive funding. Special needs trusts can provide greater peace of mind for someone with a disability, allowing them to live comfortably while still receiving necessary government assistance. If you are looking for a way to provide assistance to a disabled family member or friend, speak with an attorney about how a Special Needs Trust could benefit you and your loved one.
Special Needs Trusts allow persons with disabilities to receive additional help in caring for themselves while remaining eligible for Medicare. Even if your family member is not permanently disabled, a special needs trust could offer support even on a temporary basis, as these trusts can include provisions which offer the trustee the power to terminate the trust when in the best interests of the beneficiary. If your loved one is not currently disabled but has a disease which can be expected to progress and lead to eventual disability, then it may be best to set up a trust now that includes a provision permitting the trustee to terminate the trust if it isn’t needed. If you fear that your loved one may be influenced by unscrupulous outsiders, special needs trusts can provide assurance that the money you give will go toward the care of your loved one. Any funds you contribute to a special needs trust would be tax-deductible, and would not be available to creditors attempting to collect on a judgment.
If you are considering setting up a special needs trust, you should know about possible drawbacks to using this structure to support a disabled loved one. These trusts provide a constraint on the beneficiary’s freedom due to needing to request funds from the trustee, which can be both good and bad but can leave someone with a disability feeling even more helpless. Finally, when the trust is ended either at the beneficiary’s death or through legal termination, the trust may owe funds for the cost of Medicaid benefits received by the beneficiary during the life of the trust. An attorney will be able to provide a thorough overview of your best options in supporting a loved one with a disability.
If you are in need of a skilled Florida special needs and elder law attorney in West Palm Beach, contact Shalloway & Shalloway, P.A. for a consultation on your case, at 561-686-6200.