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Don't Put Benefits in Jeopardy: Use A Special Needs Trust

At Postic & Bates in Oklahoma City, our primary goal is to make estate planning easy, no matter how complicated your situation. You may have a minor child or adult in your life who faces daily challenges as a result of a physical, mental or developmental disability. Their special needs often interfere with their ability to earn a steady income or manage their own assets.

As a parent, relative or friend, you may be in a position to help ensure that they receive the care that they need. Your first instinct may be to pay for medical treatment, housing, food or other expenses. Without the proper estate planning, your good intentions can go very wrong.

The Structure Of Special Needs Trusts

Certain private and public programs exist to help ensure that children and adults with special needs can fund personal and financial necessities. These include Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, veteran disability compensation, state cash grants from the Family Support Assistance program or Designated Housing Vouchers.

The goal is to give them the financial support they need to have a fulfilling life. The problem is that many of the programs are based on monetary need. Though your additional support may be necessary or desired, it can affect their eligibility for these programs.

A special needs trust is an estate planning tool that allows you to give your loved one the support they need without interfering with public assistance or other benefits. There are three basic structures for special needs trusts:

  • Third-party trusts: You can use your assets, like real estate or stocks, to help support a person with special needs. This includes individuals with a disability and nondisabled individuals with unique circumstances.
  • First-party or self-settled trusts: Your child may have a special need, but that does not affect their ability to own property. A child can inherit money or obtain damages in a lawsuit. As a parent, grandparent or guardian, you can establish a trust for a person with a disability using their own assets.
  • Pooled trusts: A pooled trust is a type of first-party trust. Charities often set up these trusts that allow beneficiaries to pool their assets and generate income while keeping separate accounts.

Don't Make Mistakes: Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Choosing the right type of trust is only the first step. How money is distributed, what it is used for and many other factors can also affect eligibility. You should always consult with an attorney.

Let ours help you. Discuss your special needs in a free initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm. Call our office in Oklahoma City at 405-814-6524, toll free at 800-575-6838 or send us an email.

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