Prior to this guidance from CMS, only guardians, caregivers, family members or other third parties could set up a trust on behalf of the individual with a disability.
This is a step in the right direction in allowing people with disabilities to advocate for themselves and be self-reliant to the greatest extent possible.
Individuals with the cognitive ability to set up their own Special Needs Trust and who are under the age of 65 can now create a trust to set aside assets without negatively impacting their eligibility for Medicaid.
Why A Special Needs Trust?
Eligibility for many government benefits is determined based on the resources an individual with a disability has in his or her name.
Even if your loved one does not currently receive government assistance, he or she may need it in the future.
A special needs trust is a way to protect your loved one’s current resources and future benefits.
Through a special needs trust you can leave assets to your child or ward without negatively impacting his or her government benefits.
How Funds From A Special Needs Trust Can Be Used
Government benefits only cover basics such as medical care, food, clothing, and shelter.
Through a special needs trust, a designated trustee for your loved one will be able to provide your child or adult ward with access to things such as:
• a personal care attendant
• out of pocket medical and dental expenses
• home furnishings
How To Set Up A Special Needs Trust
A special needs trust is usually part of a comprehensive Special Needs Estate Plan. Our Special Needs Estate Plan includes:
• Last will and testament
• Advanced medical directives
• Financial and durable powers of attorney
• HIPAA waivers
• Legacy statement
• Letters to guardians
• Child safety and protection cards
• Original document storage in our vault
• And, perhaps most importantly, guardianship designations for minor children
We Can Help
We’ve helped hundreds of families set up Special Needs Trusts. As the parent of a child with disabilities, we understand the need to protect your child’s current or future government benefits financial future.