Many forms of state or federal aid that a person may receive due to a disability require recipients to have income and assets less than a certain threshold level. If the recipient has more assets than are allowed, or comes into a large amount of money after already qualifying for benefits (e.g., damages from a lawsuit, inheritance from a deceased family member), his or her benefits may be reduced or terminated.
The attorneys of La Grasso, Abdo & Silveri, PLLC can help our clients evaluate the tools available to preserve their assets and also maintain government benefits.
Special Needs Trusts can be created for a loved one who has a disability (third party special needs trust) or by the person with a disability with his or her own property (first party special needs trust). In either event, the goal is to ensure that state or federal benefits are not lost because the person with a disability has assets or income that surpass the allowed limits.
State and federal benefits usually provide for an individual’s basic support. However, those funds are often not enough to pay for items or services you would want a loved one to enjoy during his or her lifetime. The trust can pay for a number of things that would otherwise not be available to the individual who was only receiving state of federal benefits. These items include but are not limited to the following:
- Health care related expenses that would not otherwise be covered
- Additional care
- Recreational activities
- Telephone or cable services
- Modifying a vehicle to meet the needs of the beneficiary
Special Needs Trusts must be carefully drafted to ensure the beneficiary’s needs are met without jeopardizing his or her state of federal benefits. If you believe a Special Needs Trust is something that would benefit you or a loved one, our firm would be happy to educate you on your options and prepare the right trust for you.
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