Special Needs Trust Lawyer in Maryland
If you have a loved one with special needs or a disability who receives government benefits, how do you leave them an inheritance without disqualifying them from their benefits? Special needs trusts (SNTs) help family members create a fund for minor children, adult children, or other family members with special needs.
Call Chesapeake Wills & Trusts at 410-590-1900 to schedule a consultation with a special needs trust lawyer.
Estate Planning To Benefit Loved Ones With Special Needs
People with special needs may qualify for government benefits through Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or other government programs. Your estate planning must incorporate special needs planning to account for protecting your loved one’s ability to collect benefits from government assistance programs.
A testamentary will or trust distributes your assets to beneficiaries according to your instructions. Creating and funding a special needs trust during your lifetime allows you to work with other family members to name the trust as a beneficiary rather than your loved one. Anyone can contribute to a special needs trust.
What Is a Special Needs Trust?
A special needs trust helps provide for a family member with special needs or a disability while maintaining their eligibility for government benefit programs. Because these programs rely on asset and income limits for a person to qualify, leaving someone an inheritance could make them ineligible to continue receiving benefits.
SNTs also offer asset protection to maintain the assets in the trust against creditors if your loved one incurs liabilities or debts.
SNTs allow people with disabilities to cover expenses not otherwise included in their government benefits. A special needs trust can provide funding for more independent living, including:
- Clothing, shoes, and accessories
- Transportation expenses
- Physical, emotional, or mental therapies
- Entertainment and travel
- Household services and repairs
Types of Special Needs Trusts
There are two main types of special needs trusts. A third-party special needs trust is under the purview of a family member wanting to secure a disabled loved one’s future. A special needs trust lawyer from Chesapeake Wills & Trusts can help create and fund your third-party SNT as a living or testamentary trust.
You may also create an inter vivos trust, which you can partly fund and leave open to receive life insurance proceeds and other contributions from family members.
If your loved one receives an inheritance in their name, receives a lawsuit settlement, or wins a monetary award from the lottery, they will need to create a first-party (self-settled) special needs trust or risk losing their government benefits. The government can claim the remaining assets in a self-settled SNT to pay back the amount your loved one required in government assistance benefits.
Contact a Maryland Special Needs Trust Lawyer at Chesapeake Wills & Trusts
If you have a child or loved one with special needs or a disability who receives government benefits, a special needs trust lawyer from Chesapeake Wills & Trusts in Glen Burnie, MD, can help. Call today at 410-590-1900 or complete the online form to schedule a consultation.
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