If your loved one receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI)/Medicaid, it is important that you plan carefully for their financial future. For most parents and/or caregivers, this is a worry that keeps us up at night. Fortunately, there are ways we can protect and provide financial security for them.
A “special needs trust” or a “supplemental needs trust” is an estate planning tool that creates a way to legally keep services like Medicaid intact, while also giving our child quality of life. Special needs trusts can be created either within a last will and testament or as a stand-alone trust.
How a Special Needs Trust Works
Essentially, a special needs trust acts as a workaround so your child does not lose his/her eligibility for SSI or Medicaid. Rather than leaving property to your loved one, you instead leave it to the special needs trust; you can even appoint a trustee who will be given complete control over the trust property, including spending money on behalf of your loved one. Doing so effectively relinquishes control from your loved one, which means SSI and Medicaid administrators will dismiss the trust property as it pertains to eligibility for their respective programs. Thus, your loved one can maintain their SSI or Medicaid status.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Create a Special Needs Trust?
Although anyone can set up a special needs trust on their own, it is not recommended that you do so without first consulting an attorney. Many situations that warrant a special needs trust come with additional complications or extenuating circumstances, and you’ll want the advice of a lawyer before making any final decisions when this is the case.
Contact Wendra J. Moran, Attorney at Law for Help
Every family is different and, therefore, one form of a special needs trust may work better for your family than another family who has the same concern. There are specific requirements that qualify a trust as “special needs.” Let our Baton Rouge estate planning attorney help you create the best tool for your family’s needs.
Please contact our office to set up a free consultation to discuss caring for your loved one’s future. We can be reached at (225) 228-4445, or you can fill out the free consultation form here to get started immediately.