What Is A Special Needs Trust?
A Special Needs Trust (legally called a Supplemental Needs Trust) is a legal document that is designed to benefit individuals with mental and physical disabilities. These documents were finally given “official legal status” by the United States Congress in 1993. They are a much needed document that is solely intended to benefit families who have disabled loved ones and are used to convey inherited assets on to them without penalties.
Having a properly drafted trust enables a person with a mental or physical disability or with a chronic or acquired illness, to have unlimited assets held in trust for their benefit and not have them be considered as countable assets for the purpose of qualifying them to receive governmental benefits. These benefits can include SSI (Supplemental Security Income), SSDI (Social Security Disability Income), Medicaid, vocational rehabilitation, subsidized housing, and other benefits based on need. An individual is considered “impoverished” if his/her personal asserts are less than $2,000.00. The Special Needs Trust provides for care that is over and above what the government programs provide for.
There are many things to consider when establishing these Special Needs Trusts for your loved ones. They must be established on or before the disabled person’s 65th birthday. Each Special Needs Trust is its own “entity” and must have its own Federal Identification Number (EIN number) that is issued by the Internal Revenue Service. By law, it is an Irrevocable Trust and cannot be registered under either the Grantor’s or the Beneficiary’s Social Security Numbers.
We work with a group of Lawyers who specialize in this important area of Estate Planning to help the growing special needs population. Knowing the specifics of these detailed laws and how they work is vital to making sure that your loved one is protected for life and nothing is left out.
We at the DFS Group LLC are passionate about educating families about this very important Estate Planning tool because we have this in our own immediate family.