Special Needs Trusts

Have you considered the importance of a special needs trust? A special needs trust is an effective legal tool to preserve assets for a loved one and maintain eligibility for certain government benefits. Today, the cost of health insurance and medical care seem to be rising faster than any other expenses. At the same time, as our lives have become more sophisticated there seems to be an increase of situations where a loved one has special physical, mental and/or medical needs. In the fast paced world we live in there is usually little, if any, warning of these kinds of challenges.

With the high cost of living today and the need for both parents to work, the average American family often cannot afford the costs of the special or professional care that is required for a family member with special needs to be properly cared for, whether it is in the home or in an assisted living or nursing care facility.

There are joint federal and state government programs that provide various types of public benefits for low income and low net worth individuals who are disabled, blind or elderly, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, Subsidized Housing (Section 8) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and some state vocational rehabilitation services. However, the services provided by these programs are limited, and they are specifically designed to provide a base level of care and subsistence, which often is not adequate to provide the resources necessary for quality of life expenditures.

Fortunately, there are legal strategies to help provide a special needs family member with the resources to supplement the public benefit programs without risking a termination of the public benefits, by the use of SPECIAL NEEDS TRUSTS and SUPPLEMENTAL NEEDS TRUSTS. Unfortunately, there is no One Size Fits All Special or Supplement Needs Trust. Just as the care needs and public benefit programs are often different from one special needs person to another, the design and implementation of a Special or Supplement Needs Trust is, more often than not, different from person to person. Care must be taken not to cause the termination of the public benefit programs which may require approval of the Trust by the appropriate public benefits office.

If you have questions about special needs trusts, please do not hesitate to contact the Finkel Law Firm.

Serving the people and businesses of South Carolina for over forty years.