Do you have a family member with disabilities, or someone who is unlikely to be able to support themselves in the future? A Special Needs Trust (SNT) may be an important tool for your estate plan. A Special Needs Trust is a trust that is designed for individuals with disabilities. The trust is created to provide your loved one with access to assets for their care via the Trust, without disqualifying them for public assistance benefits. A Special Needs Trust can also serve to preserve assets from a legal settlement or inheritance for a disabled individual who is already receiving government benefits, such as Mainecare, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, and other welfare based programs. If one of the beneficiaries you are naming in your will is disabled, we can create a will with a SNT that provides that his/her share will be set aside in the Trust, to be used for his/her benefit but without disrupting the benefits they are otherwise entitled to receive now or in the future.
The rules to qualify as a Special Needs Trust are very specific and require careful drafting. Special consideration must be given to the selection of a Trustee as he or she must maintain strict compliance with the administration of the assets held in a SNT. These are extremely beneficial tools when used in the right circumstances. We have been utilizing Special Needs Trusts in our estate planning for decades. Let us help you decide if one is right for your family.