Many people believe that a special needs trust is only useful for parents of special needs children. While these parents and their children certainly do benefit from setting up a trust, many other situations can be helped by a special needs trust — most notably, when a disabled person possesses more than $2,000 in assets and does not qualify financially for government benefits. Read on to learn more.
(Laws vary by state. Please check your state’s laws before acting on any of the information below.)
An Elderly Person Entering a Skilled Nursing Facility
One of the most common examples of someone who benefits from a special needs trust is an aging parent who is entering a skilled nursing facility. Many people are unaware that the elderly person’s assets will automatically go to pay nursing home costs until those assets have been depleted — unless they are contained in a special needs trust.
By holding the assets in a special needs trust, they become immune to nursing home costs, which means government benefits will kick in to pay the bills.
Someone Who Will Need Government Benefits in the Future
An individual who is not currently disabled may find themselves becoming disabled in the future because of a current condition that progresses into something incapacitating. If you think your loved one may need government benefits down the road, then you can set up a special needs trust now so that it will be well-funded if and when your loved one ends up needing Medicaid or Supplement Security Income (SSI). You can give the trustee the power to terminate the trust if it isn’t needed in the future.
Along the same lines, if you have a loved one who is currently disabled – whether they are your child or otherwise – they can place their assets, plus any gifts or inheritances from family members or friends, into a special needs trust so that they remain eligible for Medicaid and SSI.
We Can Help with a Special Needs Trust!
No matter where you are in the process – ready to set up a trust or just wanting to start a conversation – Alabama Family Trust is here to help! We’re here to answer all your questions and make the process as smooth as possible. Contact us today for more information!