What is the Importance of a Special Needs Trust?

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If you have a loved one with special needs, you want to ensure he or she will be looked after, continue receiving the benefits he or she needs to live a happy, productive, and safe life, and that he or she, ultimately, can retain his or her standard of living. Fortunately, special needs trusts are a great way to ensure this happens. Please read on and reach out to our experienced and compassionate legal team about the legal process going forward and how we can help:

Why would someone establish a special needs trust?

Special needs trusts allow beneficiaries to benefit from receiving various supplemental resources without discontinuing their eligibility for certain government programs and/or public benefits. Some of the most common of these programs are Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income.

What are the different types of special needs trusts available in Maryland?

The three most common types of special needs trusts available to individuals in Maryland are as follows:

  • Pooled special needs trusts: These trusts are designed for several members to pool their assets into a larger investment fund. However, these trusts also must meet several requirements in order to be considered valid. For example, you will have to establish a disability, and prove that there is a definite need for the trust to be developed through a nonprofit organization.
  • Third-Party Special Needs Trusts: These can only be created by an individual for their beneficiary, and can be created either during a lifetime or upon the individual’s death. Family members, such as grandparents or siblings may contribute gifts to third-party special needs trusts.
  • First-party special needs trusts: First-party special needs trusts may only be created by parents, grandparents, or legal guardians. These trusts must be irrevocable and are funded with the beneficiary’s own funds. Additionally, the beneficiary must be under the age of 65 to qualify. Generally, first-party special needs trusts are only created with a beneficiary is to inherit or receive funds from a lawsuit or settlement.

How does a special needs trust benefit me and my family?

When you create a special needs trust, you help your family avoid probate, provide for funeral arrangements, provide supplemental funds, and protect the subject’s entitlement to government benefits. Some of the benefits that may be preserved can include Supplemental Security Income, HUD housing assistance, in-home support services, and Medicaid.

Contact our experienced Maryland firm

The attorneys at JD Katz have years of experience compassionately guiding clients in Maryland through the estate planning and administration process. Our firm also has experience with matters of elder law, business law, tax law, and litigation. For a legal team that will put your needs first, contact JD Katz today.