Special Needs Trust

Author: Wolfe Ossa LawCategories: Elder Law

A special needs trust is an excellent tool for those receiving government benefits. Medicaid is a means based government aid program. Meaning in order to qualify, you must have little to no assets. A struggle many families with Medicaid recipients face is how to successfully leave their family member an inheritance without jeopardizing their government benefits.

Setting up a third party funded special needs trust is a great way to ensure that your loved ones are included in your estate, while protecting their status as Medicaid eligible. It’s one of the few ways to own assets and still be on Medicaid.

A Medicaid recipient can also have a self-settled special needs trust, which is funded using the recipients own money. This is a very useful tool when a beneficiary needs government benefits but cannot qualify because of their assets. This may happen when a recipient receives a large settlement from a lawsuit. Or an inheritance where the decedent did not properly plan for the beneficiaries needs.

Both third party funded and self-settled special needs trusts are priceless tools to ensure Medicaid recipients are able to own assets. In both cases, a Trustee is assigned to manage the trust account(s) and provide for the beneficiary. This money can be used to pay for the recipient’s regular bills and costs of living.

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