Those with loved ones having special needs and abilities face unique challenges while raising and planning for their loved one’s safety and security. At Bennett Watson Trust & Estate, we help clients create plans that provide peace of mind that their loved one with a disability receives the proper level of care throughout his or her life. We love that every person and situation is unique. A properly prepared special needs plan balances the financial, social and medical needs of a person with a disability, as well as allowing room for future changes in these areas.
Special Needs Planning
We help you make a plan.
We help design a plan to accomplish your goals, which may include:
- Ensuring uninterrupted eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid and other needs-based benefits
- Maximizing public and private resources available to a beneficiary with a disability
- Determining residential options should the current living arrangement become unavailable
- Providing financial safeguards to prevent financially exploitation by others
- Creating checks and balances between family, medical providers and trusted advisors providing accountability for all involved
- Providing a process to modify the plan in light of changes in the law, healthcare or other event where modification benefits your loved one
- Establishing a plan so other well-intended family members can leave a gift to your specially-abled loved one without disrupting the protection
Special Needs Trusts
A Special Needs Trust (SNT) is the primary planning tool when planning for loved ones with disabilities. Properly drafted and maintained, a SNT can provide a source of funds to meet the beneficiary’s needs without disqualifying him or her for needs-based benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. It can also do much more by creating a customized system of advocacy and care that will provide safety and stability for your loved one with a disability.
There are two types of Special Needs Trusts:
First-Party Special Needs Trust
Special Needs Trusts funded with the assets of the person with a disability, generally obtained through personal work history, legal judgment or settlement, or unplanned inheritance from a family member. These SNTs must meet strict Federal requirements and conform to the Social Security Administration Program Operation Manual System (POMS).
Third-Party Special Needs Trust
Special Needs Trusts funded with someone else’s assets, generally obtained through a properly planned gift or inheritance from a loved one. The rules for compliance of these trusts are easier to meet and allow for more flexibility in the planning.
Contact us today to find out more about planning for a beneficiary with a disability.