Special Needs Trusts

Special-Needs-TrustsSpecial needs trusts, or supplemental needs trusts, are an estate planning vehicle that eases the process of securing a future for a loved one with disabilities. The direct ownership of significant monetary assets unfortunately will disqualify your loved one from receiving government health protections, including a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. Special needs trusts remedy this concern by establishing an irrevocable trust fund that will not disqualify your loved one from receiving government benefits while also providing a stable financial resource for them in the future. Our Chicago Estate Planning Attorneys can help individuals and families structure a special needs trust to help ensure your loved ones receive the financial support and health protection that they deserve.

Understanding the Trustee

A Special Needs Trust, as a form of an irrevocable trust, removes the beneficiary from direct name ownership in order to meet government benefit qualifications. Through a Last Will & Testament, families can appoint a trustee to administer  special needs trusts. The trustee serves a critical role in managing the deposit account, the brokerage account, the retirement plan, stock, bonds and other assets, for special needs trusts. It is also important that the trustee has a firm legal understanding of the special needs trust to meet government qualifications. The trustee should be prepared to maintain support in checking the personal and day-to-day needs of the beneficiary and also actively executing other legal duties, such as paying taxes, keeping records, and managing investments.

Appointing a trustee may be one of the most essential yet difficult decisions in the process of creating a special needs trust. A pooled trust can offer important relief in this regard by partnering a special needs trust with a nonprofit organization. These nonprofit organizations pool the money from several families into one collective investment, while providing separate accounts for each family. The nonprofit organization also appoints a skilled trustee to purchase necessities and offer supplemental care for the beneficiary, just as a close family member would.  Our Chicago Estate Planning Attorneys can offer legal representation for individuals and families to better understand the trustee appointment and other special needs trust structuring matters.

Special needs trusts offer the flexibility and legal support needed to provide financial security and healthcare access for your loved ones with disabilities. By integrating available public resources with private funds, our Chicago Estate Planning Attorneys can help prepare them for an independent future with a stable financial plan.

The Importance of Public and Private Funds

Government benefits, such as an SSI and Medicaid, oftentimes are the principal source of funding for present and future needs of the disabled.  Many local, state and national laws encourage the creation of special needs trusts as an indispensable supplement to the available public and private funds for the disabled. This combination of public and private funds forms the cornerstone of estate planning for the family, especially when estate planning requires continued care for those with special needs. Our Chicago Estate Planning Attorneys provide the legal representation for individuals and families seeking to maximize the available public and private resources with a personalized special needs trust.