Special Needs Planning

special needs boy being hugged by sisters

Special Needs Planning is important to protect your loved ones with special needs, provide for their care currently and in the future, protect assets from estate taxes and long-term care costs, preserve their eligibility for government benefits and provide funds for the “extras” that improve their quality of life.

An experienced attorney can help you with comprehensive planning and vital documents:

  • Apply and qualify for SSI benefits
  • Apply and qualify for Medicaid
  • Provide for your loved ones in your Will
  • Set up a Special Needs Trust
  • Set up a Supplemental Needs Trust
  • Develop an Estate Plan tailored to your needs and goals
  • Assist with long-term care and asset protection planning
  • Provide General Powers of Attorney and Health Care Powers of Attorney that are appropriate for your circumstances

Special Needs Trusts and Supplemental Needs Trusts are crucial legal tools for children and adults with disabilities.  As the average life span of our population increases, caring for people with disabilities has become more challenging and assuring that assets will be available throughout their lifetimes is more complex.  Special Needs Trusts and Supplemental Needs Trusts can be created with proceeds from a judgment or settlement, or by a loved one with concerns for a beneficiary in need.

Qualified Self-Funded Special Needs Trust or (d)(4)(A) Trust

  • Irrevocable Trust
  • Beneficiary is under 65 and has special needs
  • Funded with Beneficiary’s assets
  • Provides that Medicaid must be reimbursed for all benefits paid to Beneficiary upon Beneficiary’s death
  • Established by parent, grandparent, guardian or court order

Qualified Pooled Special Needs or (d)(4)(C) Trust

  • Non-profit organization manages and establishes the trust
  • Beneficiary is under 65 and has special needs
  • Funded with Beneficiary’s assets
  • Trust account established by parent, grandparent, guardian or court order
  • Medicaid must be reimbursed for all benefits paid to Beneficiary upon Beneficiary’s death
  • Non-profit or designated family members receive distributions from remaining money

Third Party Special Needs Trust

  • Revocable Trust, Irrevocable Trust, Testamentary Trust
  • Beneficiary is person with special needs
  • Funded with assets of third party, not Beneficiary’s assets
  • Goal is to provide funds that supplement, not supplant sources of support for the Beneficiary, such as SSI or Medicaid
  • Often used in place of disinheriting your loved one with special needs in order to preserve eligibility for government benefits

The selection of a Trustee and Guardian is particularly difficult in the best of circumstances and extremely worrisome in many cases. 

  • Do they fully understand the special needs of your loved one?
  • Will they adequately provide for your loved one?
  • Do they understand the complex terms of the Trust?
  • Will they be able to mange the investments, tax planning, accounting and administrative responsibilities?
  • What will happen if the Guardian or Trustee is no loner available?

The team at Keston Law can help you develop a comprehensive plan to care and provide for your special needs loved one.

Contact Us