Effective estate planning can address a variety of scenarios. While most people think of estate planning as a direct was transfer from one person to another upon an individual’s death, the fact is that this process can have far more substantial an impact.
This is especially true in the case of people with special needs. Disabled individuals commonly seek eligibility for public benefits like SSI or Medicaid. These are often means-tested benefits, which means that disabled people could lose their benefits if they inherit too much money. If you have a disabled family member, you may wish to create a special needs trust to provide for the maintenance of these vulnerable family members or friends.
A Cranberry Township special needs planning lawyer may be able to help you protect your loved one’s future. Our trusts attorneys could draft an agreement that provide for the needs of others while also creating benefits for you.
A variety of circumstances can lead to scenarios where an individual is unable to care for their own needs. This is almost universally true in the case of children. However, many adults, due to either mental or physical limitations, require the support of other people or government programs. People who are responsible for providing this care may wonder how to protect individuals under their care after their deaths.
One choice is to create a special needs trust, which allows a person to deposit funds for later distribution to the beneficiary. The future distributions are of a limited nature, thereby preserving access to public benefits. A Cranberry Township attorney could help you create trusts that provide for the special needs of your loved ones for years into the future.
A trust allows an owner of property to transfer assets to another for this person’s benefit. It is important to note that this transfer is not direct. Instead, the trustor nominates a trustee to take temporary control over the assets. This trustee then distributes the assets to the beneficiary for certain allowed reasons. This arrangement can be especially beneficial when providing for those with special needs. This is because the beneficiary does not directly benefit the assets until the transfer occurs. A scheduled distribution can help to preserve assets in the long term.
Another benefit is the duty of trustees to maintain the property while it is in their care. According to Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute §20-7771, a trustee must perform their duties in good faith and according to the terms of the document. The trustee must act for the benefit of the beneficiary. Therefore, a caretaker could specifically describe how the trustee should handle the beneficiary’s assets, so they continue to receive all the care they need to live comfortably. A Cranberry Township lawyer could help someone who is considering special needs planning draft a trust document that covers all of the needs of the individual under their care.
Caring for the needs of those who are unable to take care of themselves is at the top of many people’s priorities for the future. If you are responsible for the wellbeing of another who is unable to care for themselves, it may be possible to arrange for that person to continue living in comfort.
Creating a special needs trust is one way to ensure this comfort. This arrangement places assets into a trust that will distribute property to the beneficiary for specific purposes in the future. The appointed trustee will make these distributions on your behalf and has a duty under the law to perform this role according to the terms of the trust. A Cranberry Township special needs planning lawyer could help you determine if this step is right for you and those under your care. Give us a call today to learn more about how we could help you.