If you have a child with physical and/or mental disabilities, it is important that you protect their well-being and livelihood by providing them with the financial assistance they may need. Certain federal benefits can help ensure those with disabilities are taken care of, but they can be jeopardized if your child has too many assets. A special needs trust can make a difference in the life of a child with disabilities. By enlisting an experienced Omaha special needs trust attorney to set up a trust on your child’s behalf, you can protect the assets of your disabled adult children without impacting their federal benefits.
A skilled elder law attorney at Berry Law can guide you through the process, helping you create a trust that is tailor-made for your specific needs.
What is a Trust?
Generally speaking, trusts are created to allow another person to manage the property or assets of an individual. In a trust, there are two parties—the trustee and the beneficiary. The trustee is responsible for managing the assets in the trust to the best interest of the person who is benefiting, known as the beneficiary. A Special Needs Trust (SNT), also sometimes referred to as a Supplemental Needs Trust, is a specific type of trust that parents or family members can establish for their loved ones with physical and/or mental disabilities.
What is a Special Needs Trust or Supplemental Needs Trust?
As previously mentioned, a Special Needs Trust or Supplemental Needs Trust is a specific type of trust that is geared towards individuals with a physical or mental disability. The assets in this trust are exempt from counting toward asset thresholds in governmental programs, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. However, there are different types of special needs trusts. An Omaha special needs trust attorney can diagnose your circumstances and get you set up with a trust that is most beneficial to you and your child. Trusts are a tool for providing a safety net for disabled adult children.
First Party Special Needs Trusts – This is owned and funded by the individual with special needs. Because the government has strict requirements on federal benefits, this allows them to own assets without impacting their eligibility for government benefits.
Third-Party Special Needs Trust – This gives the trustee access to the funds but does not allow the beneficiary to access them. These trusts are used when a trustee would like to continue supporting a beneficiary without giving them access to the funds.
Pooled Special Needs Trust – This is managed by a non-profit organization whereas there are many beneficiaries on the trust. This allows them to “pool” their funds and assets together for investment purposes and to provide more management services. This type of trust also allows the beneficiary to use the funds for reoccurring expenses.
What Can I Use This For?
Individuals who are creating a trust for an individual with mental and/or physical disabilities can use these funds to support some of their expenses. However, the funds in the trust cannot be used for anything that would impact their federal benefits, including cash gifts and rental costs. The trusts can be used for a wide array of other expenses, including:
- Vocational Rehabilitation
- Legal Services
- Computer Equipment
- Various Other Expenses
A dedicated special needs trust lawyer in Omaha can advise you on what expenses the SNT can and cannot be used for.
Get Help From an Experienced Omaha SNT Attorney
Special Needs Trusts can prove vital in preserving the assets of an individual with mental or physical disabilities without impacting their federal benefits, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). A dedicated Omaha Special Needs Trust attorney can help you determine which trust will be most beneficial to you and set up a trust that meets all your specific needs. Contact one of the experienced elder law lawyers at Berry Law to take the first steps in setting up an SNT for your disabled adult child.