Setting Up A Special Needs Trust
If you are taking care of your estate planning and you want to leave part of your estate to someone who has special needs, you need to do this in a special way and use caution. An estate planning attorney will help you handle this aspect of your estate, setting up a special needs trust and ensuring that the individual’s right to receive disbursed finances is not impacted by his or her share of your estate. You don’t want to impact his or her ability to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid benefits, as those benefits can help with their medical care and basic living expenses. Disbursing any part of your estate to a special needs individual requires the guidance of an experienced Arizona estate planning attorney.
What is A Special Needs Trust and How Does It Work?
When you establish a trust, it involves assigning a trustee to disburse an estate’s finances. If you have established a trust and then you die, then the trustee will get control of your finances. He or she will then utilize your assets to take of services and to buy goods for the special needs individual that you have specified. When a trust has been set up, the trustee cannot directly hand over money to the special needs recipient as that would impact his or her ability to receive Medicaid and SSI benefits. Basically, the trustee will periodically be distributed funds from the trust and then the funds will be used to cover costs that the special needs individual might regularly incur. These costs might include dental expenses, medical expenses, vehicle purchases, rehabilitation costs, education costs, vacation and travel expenses, furniture costs, and basic living expenses.
Who Can Set Up an Arizona Special Needs Trust?
Currently, anyone can set up a special needs trust. Even an individual who has special needs. You will need an estate planning attorney to set up the trust, assigning a trustee and then ensuring that assets and finances are disbursed according to the wishes of the individual establishing the trust at the time of his or her death. You need to make sure the trust is set up properly, so the special needs individual does not have their benefits impacted. Because a loss of benefits could leave them in a worse financial situation. Without Medicaid to cover their medical expenses or SSI to provide a steady income, their inheritance from the special needs trust might last a very short time then they would have to go through reapplication processes to get benefits reinstated. When an attorney is used to take care of the estate planning and establishing the trust things are handled more efficiently and more effectively so the interests of the special needs individual are given priority.
How to Address Your Estate Planning in Arizona
If you have established trusts to distribute your assets, you will still need a Last Will and Testament. Your estate planning attorney will help you make sure all your affairs are in order. You want to save your family the stress, time and finances that could be involved with settling your estate if you die without the proper estate planning having been done. Regardless of your age, your financial status, or your assets, you should consult with an Arizona estate planning attorney to determine the best way to proceed with making sure your beneficiaries get as much of your assets as possible and that when possible, probate is avoided, and estate taxes are either reduced or not paid at all. Schedule a consultation with an Arizona estate planning lawyer today.