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Littman Krooks Special Needs Trust Lawyers work for the empowerment of individuals with special needs.
New York Special Needs Trusts Lawyer
Special needs trusts, also known as supplemental needs trusts, are an essential tool in planning for the future of your child with special needs.
As with any trust, a trustee will manage funds for a beneficiary. A special needs trust benefits families and children with disabilities by protecting assets and retaining public benefits, because the funds they hold are not considered income for the purpose of eligibility for benefits. Therefore, when a child with special needs turns 18, he or she may continue to receive certain need-based benefits like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), while funds from the trust can be used for the child’s supplemental needs. Special needs trusts allow families and trustees to hold funds for the benefit of individuals who cannot manage money on their own.
A beneficiary may only use funds from special needs trusts to pay for certain supplemental needs, not for basic needs such as housing or groceries. Trust funds used to pay for such necessities may be considered income, affecting SSI eligibility. Specifically, funds from special needs trusts cannot be used to pay for:
- Restaurant meals, if they occur on a regular basis
- Rent, mortgage payments or property tax
- Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance
- Allowance cash given directly to the beneficiary
Many supplemental needs can be paid for with trust funds. Trust distributions can be used for medical expenses that are not covered by Medicaid, such as wheelchairs, mechanical beds, accessible vans and special therapies. Funds can also be used for recreational and cultural experiences that would enrich your child’s life. Sometimes, however, it may be a difficult call to decide what constitutes a supplemental need vs. a necessity and you will need the advice of a special needs planning attorney.
Keep in mind that there are three main types of special needs trusts: self-settled trusts, which use funds owned by the beneficiary, such as an inheritance or legal settlement; pooled trusts, which are managed by nonprofit organizations for many beneficiaries; and third-party trusts, which may be established by the parents or other loved ones of a person with special needs.
Establishing special needs trusts is a complex job , and there are important considerations to keep in mind regarding public benefits, tax implications and the impact of the trust on a family’s overall financial and estate plan. Our special needs planning attorneys will take the time to understand your needs, and we will provide you with comprehensive advice throughout the process.
Special Needs Planning Services
Planning for your child’s future can seem overwhelming, but you do not need to face these tasks alone.
Frequently Asked Questions About Special Needs Trusts
Contact Littman Krooks to learn how we can serve your special needs planning goals.
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