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Special Needs Trusts Attorneys

Many families are concerned about how they can provide for a disabled family member but not interfere with their ability to qualify for government benefits. One viable option is for a family of a special needs individual to create a special needs trust. A special needs trust can provide financial resources for them but not interfere with their ability to collect public benefits.

There are several legal options that family members can choose from based on their loved one’s needs. However, parents and other family members who wish to create a trust often face unique challenges when providing for their special needs children.

Because of the legal intricacies in creating a living trust for a special needs child, hiring an experienced special needs trust attorney is in your best interest. Hiring a knowledgeable trust attorney can ensure your loved one is provided for and has resources for their needs.

What is a Special Needs Trust?

Special needs trusts (SNT) are typically created by parents or loved ones of disabled beneficiaries so they can continue to qualify for government benefits. Often, government benefits, referred to as need-based benefits, are provided to individuals with mental or physical disabilities whose income falls under specific income and resource limits. These needs-based benefits include Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid programs, and the Arizona Long Term Care System.

Parents or family members may place funds into the trust without worry that they will negatively impact the disabled beneficiary and their ability to collect benefits. One of the primary advantages of special needs trusts is they supplement the needs of disabled beneficiaries, significantly adding to their quality of life.

If you feel that your loved one could benefit from a special needs trust, contact the AVID Esq. Group, LLC of Arizona, immediately. With proper planning, you can ensure that your special needs child will receive lifelong care without the risk of being denied eligibility for government programs.

What Types of Special Needs Trusts Are Available in Arizona?

There are three primary Arizona special needs trusts that parents or other family members may use to plan for their loved ones’ needs. These special needs trusts include:

First Party Special Needs Trust

A first-party special needs trust is created using the disabled family member’s assets. These assets frequently come from a personal injury lawsuit, inheritance, or accumulation of funds.

This type of trust is ideal in that it works to protect the disabled person’s own assets while helping them receive essential medical care from government needs programs.

Third Party Special Needs Trust

A third-party special needs trust is funded and provided by third parties, not the beneficiary. In most cases, parents or other relatives create third-party special needs trusts. Third-party special needs trusts are often established through estate planning to provide for the disabled child after their death.

Pooled Special Needs Trust

A pooled special needs trust is created through funding provided by multiple disabled beneficiaries and managed by a non-profit organization. The non-profit is responsible for investing and managing the funds for all individuals who have pooled their money into the trust. However, each disabled person in the trust has funds deposited into separate accounts they may use for their needs.

The AVID Esq. Group, LLC of Arizona recognizes your desire to help your child financially without jeopardizing their benefits or managing care after you pass away. Contact our law firm if you have a special needs child who wants to create a trust or learn more about a pooled trust.

What Expenses Can Be Paid From a Special Needs Trust?

When creating a special needs trust, it is crucial to understand what expenses may be paid from the trust’s resources. If proper planning for the trust is not utilized, the recipient may lose access to SSI, Medicaid, or other benefits. However, as long as certain requirements are met, disabled persons can use the assets set aside for them and not worry about becoming ineligible for public benefits.

Some supplemental items that an SNT can pay for include education, medical needs not covered through benefits, recreational activities, and counseling.

Some examples of items that can be paid for from a special needs trust include:

  • A motor vehicle
  • Insurance expenses
  • Transportation services costs
  • Medical equipment
  • Respite care for caregivers
  • Vacation and travel costs
  • Education and training
  • Help with starting a business.
  • Recreation and entertainment, such as movies or social events.
  • Home furnishings/electronic equipment
  • Legal expenses
  • Burial expenses

However, specific items cannot be paid for by a special needs trust, such as groceries, property taxes, rent or mortgage payments, utilities, cash, or gift cards.

If you still need clarification about what items can be provided by funds from an SNT, contact a special needs trust attorney who can answer your questions.

Do I Need an Attorney to Help Me Establish a Trust?

Many parents worry that their special needs children will struggle financially after they are gone and can no longer care for them. However, through special needs planning and estate planning, you can be assured that your child will be able to continue living the lifestyle to which they are accustomed.

However, a critical component of any SNT is careful planning to ensure that it is set up correctly and does interfere with the disabled person’s ability to collect necessary benefits.

For these reasons, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced special needs trust attorney who can assist you with creating an SNT to ensure it meets all legal requirements. Our attorneys have extensive experience developing estate plans that provide SNTs that ensure recipients continue receiving government benefits.

Contact the AVID Esq. Group, LLC of Arizona, at 480-467-5636, and ask to schedule a free initial consultation with a qualified legal team member who will gladly assist you.