Long Island Special Needs Trusts Lawyers Taking Care of Families
Also Serving: New York City
Estate planning is something many Americans need, but it is even more critical for those with a family member who has a disability. When planning for the future involves a disabled beneficiary or grantor, things can become more complicated. You may worry that the funds left in the estate plan will affect your loved one’s eligibility for government benefits like Medicaid and Social Security. However, you can still provide a comfortable future for your loved one without giving up their public benefits by using a special needs trust.
Special needs trusts are intended to provide long-term care for a person with disabilities. Rather than gifting the money to the person directly, you can place it into an account managed by a trustee of your choosing. After your death, the assets are distributed in the manner you wish. This protects the individual from being disqualified from SSI and Medicaid benefits.
If you or a loved one would benefit from special needs planning, please get in touch with our caring and competent lawyers to discuss setting up a special needs trust fund. We can explain the difference between a special needs trust and a supplemental needs trust and help you decide which course of action is right for your family. With an experienced special needs trust attorney on your side, you can move forward knowing your needs and those of your loved ones will be taken care of, no matter what the future brings. Call us today to schedule your assessment at (516) 253-1366.
What Is a Special Needs Trust?
Special needs trusts provide for the expenses of the adult or child beneficiary that go beyond Medicare or SSI benefits. In these trusts, the money typically comes from the individual who has the disability. On the other hand, a supplemental needs trust is funded by a family member, such as the parents or grandparents, who wish to care for their disabled loved one. In both cases, the funds may be used to provide for a variety of needs that improve the individual’s lifestyle.
Some items that a special needs or supplemental needs trust can cover include:
- Medical care
- Home furnishings
- Personal care aides
- Dental care
While these trusts have many benefits, they are complicated legal documents that could have severe implications if poorly designed. For example, some trusts include a pay-back clause that requires the remaining money in the trust to be repaid to Medicaid following the individual’s death. Many special needs trusts are irrevocable, meaning it is tough, if not impossible, to change them following their creation.
Before creating any trust or estate planning document, please speak with a knowledgeable special needs trust lawyer who can advise you on the best legal choices for your family’s needs. They can design the right trust that matches your goals and wishes for the future.
What Are the Types of Special Needs Trusts?
Special needs trusts are valuable estate planning tools, especially for families that include the guardianship of an adult or child with special needs. In these cases, a special needs or supplemental needs trust can offer the individual a higher quality of life without sacrificing their public benefits. There are a few ways that these trusts can be designed, depending on your situation.
The three types of special needs trusts commonly used in New York are:
- First-party trust – In these trusts, the funds come from the assets owned by the individual with special needs. Accessing the assets will not prevent the person from collecting insurance benefits through Medicaid or Social Security. However, these trusts often require the remaining funds to be returned to Medicaid in a payback clause.
- Third-party trust – Third-party trusts are funded by other individuals who wish to contribute to the livelihood of disabled individuals. This may include parents, grandparents, family friends, and others. There is usually no obligation to return any money back to Medicaid following the person’s death.
- Pooled trust – In a pooled special needs trust, many different beneficiaries receive income from a trust administered by non-profit organizations. This provides relief for family members who will not have to manage the trust on their own. Each beneficiary collects from their own individual account and still receives benefits from public programs as with any special needs trust. These trusts usually require repayment to Medicaid.
Contact our estate planning law firm for help deciding which trust is suitable for you.
How Can an Attorney Help Create My Special Needs Trust?
If you think a special needs trust is right for you, you should speak with a knowledgeable attorney before taking any legal action. These documents are often irrevocable, which means that once they are created, they are extremely difficult to revise. Your lawyer will understand the nuances of special needs law and can counsel you on how to proceed. They can prevent mistakes that typically cause disastrous results when it comes to estate planning.
Your special needs trust attorney can also help you gather the proper documents and set up the trust to protect your family in the future. They can assist you in choosing a trustee, ensuring the funds are set up correctly, and that the beneficiary can access the money they need in the way you wish.
When choosing an attorney to help with your special needs trust, you need someone who focuses on trusts and wills. Many law firms offer a wide variety of services, but they are not very experienced with any one type of law. It would be best if you had someone who deals with trusts regularly so they have the depth of knowledge necessary to handle such a complex matter.
Should You Hire Our Special Needs Trusts Attorneys?
At Davidov Law Group, our founding attorneys are a married couple who have witnessed firsthand how difficult it is to have a loved one pass away without a proper estate plan. When it comes to a family member with special needs, this is even more critical. You want to be sure your family member is provided for and has a comfortable life no matter what may happen to you.
We have a deep understanding of New York law because we work with clients to create trusts every day. However, we recognize that every family is unique, and we promise to listen carefully to your concerns so we can craft the perfect estate plan for your needs and goals. We will leverage that knowledge to get you the best service possible. Contact us right away at (516) 253-1366.to schedule a consultation and see how our caring, skilled lawyers can help you.