My husband and I just started discussions with our Investment guy and our attorney (ie. my brother in law) about setting up a Special Needs Trust for our son. The question was asked what are we going to use these funds for? I said I had no idea, that I thought the point of a Special Needs Trust was to protect his assets so that he can be medicare eligible - which if he is eligible for medicare, then he should be able to use it... So anyone out there with a Special Needs Trust? If so, do you have any resources to help educate for this process and/or questions WE should be asking??
Thanks much. Donna
Jeff - you don't need a special needs trust for that purpose, just set up a bank account in your name. A special needs trust is a way for your son to have assets when you're not around and not impact his eligibility for Medicaid and SSI. Anyone could put money in the trust - doesn't have to be through an inheritance. The money is restricted on its use. Basically for medical care.
Two years later, we have finally established the Special Needs Trust for our Grandson.
We had to hire a lawyer who specializes in these kind of trusts in the state in which our grandson lives -- not the state that we live in.
The trust cost $3,000. It is made to conform to the state in which the beneficiary lives because different states have different benefit rules. It will provide for supplemental care -- there is almost a two page list of "non-support special care possibilities in the trust including telephone and television services, DME, periodic outings, vehicle, hair and nail care, etc. The document itself is 17 pages long (wow!)
Anyone can contribute to the trust but it is managed by the trustees. In this case, my son and myself. The lawyer said that if we get to talking about BIG money, that a professional trustee may be needed.
The big thing to remember and tell family members is that if they plan to leave any money to the beneficiary, it should flow to the trust. In my case, I am changing the beneficiary on one of my life insurances to the trust. My son and his wife also have to change his will to have their estate go into trust for my grandson (their only child).