6633 Green Bay Road, Suite 4, Kenosha, WI 53142

Kenosha Special Needs Trust Attorney

Bristol Medicaid trust lawyer

Estate Planning Lawyer Helping Create Trusts in Union Grove and Lake Geneva

Throughout your life's journey, you have worked hard to meet your and your family's needs, and you will also want to ensure that the assets you have acquired are put to the best use, both for yourself and your loved ones. Trusts can provide a great method for doing so, but in some cases, additional considerations may need to be taken into account to ensure that those with special needs receive the support they deserve.

Frozena Law LLC can provide you with the legal help you need when creating a comprehensive estate plan. We can offer guidance about your options and the methods you can use to provide for your own needs and your loved ones who are disabled or have other special needs.

Protecting Public Benefits Through a Special Needs Trust

People with disabilities or other types of special needs are often eligible to receive public aid such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Medicare, or Medicaid. However, certain conditions must be met in order to qualify for and continue receiving these benefits. If the assets a person owns or the income they receive rises above a certain threshold, they may no longer be eligible for Medicaid or SSI.

If you have assets that you would like to set aside to ensure that your loved ones with special needs are cared for, directly transferring these assets to them could jeopardize their eligibility for the public aid they rely on. In order to avoid this, you can create a third-party special needs trust (also known as a supplemental needs trust). As with other trusts, your assets will be placed under the control of a trustee, and they may be distributed to the beneficiary in a manner that does not affect public benefits. A third-party special needs trust will also allow you to name other beneficiaries to benefit from the trust when the original beneficiary passes away.

Typically, public aid will cover a person's basic needs, including food, housing, and most medical care, so assets from a special needs trust should be used for other purposes. These may include support services or medical equipment not covered by public benefits programs, clothing, home goods and furnishings, mobile phone or internet services, transportation, or recreational activities. Payment for these items should be made directly to the vendor or service provider and not to the trust beneficiary.

If you or a loved one receive public benefits and will be receiving a gift/bequest, a personal injury or similar legal settlement, or have too many assets to maintain eligibility for public benefits, a self-settled special needs trust may be appropriate. A self-settled or first-party special needs trust allows you or your loved one to receive the benefit of the gift/bequest or settlement or to retain excess income or assets for future use without losing public benefits. However, a self-settled special needs trust must include a payback provision which provides for reimbursement back to the state for public benefits received. Only after the state is paid back can remaining assets, if any, be passed to a named remainder beneficiary. If a pooled trust managed by a non-profit, such as WisPACT or LifeNavigators, is used for a self-settled special needs trust, in some cases trust assets will remain with the non-profit managing the trust for charitable purposes instead of paying back the state.

Contact a Racine County Elder Law Attorney

When you are determining the best ways to manage the assets you own, it is important to work with an experienced estate planning attorney. Frozena Law LLC can help you understand your options for creating and funding different types of trusts, and we will help ensure that you are prepared to provide for your and your family's needs, including loved ones with special needs, both immediately and in the future. To schedule a consultation, contact our office today at  262-237-8668. We assist with estate planning and elder law in Kenosha, Burlington, Racine, Sturtevant, Union Grove, Pleasant Prairie, Lake Geneva, and Bristol.

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