Many Massachusetts families take care of another family member with special needs. Caring for people with special needs can require additional resources from the caregiver, including a great deal of financial resources. If you efficiently plan ahead of time, you and your family can take advantage of financial programs that are made to assist in paying for these medical expenses. One way to financially protect your loved one with special needs is to get a special needs trust, also known as a supplemental needs trust, or SNT.
What is a Special Needs Trust?
The purpose of a special needs trust is to provide for the needs of someone without disrupting that person’s qualification for Medicaid, Social Security, and other federal benefits. The trust is created on behalf of a person who is physically or mentally disabled. Assets that are placed in the special needs trust are distributed to the beneficiary with the permission of a trustee. This kind of trust will not pay for basic needs, which are covered by other government benefits. Instead, the trustee will be in charge of payments for things like vacations, movies, social outings, extra quality-of-life items, medical treatments not covered by other programs, and hiring a lawyer. Special needs trusts can either be self-settled, meaning that the assets are preserved directly by the disabled person, or they can be third-party settled, which would mean the trust is funded by someone else. Self-settled special needs trusts include payback provisions, which require the trust to repay MassHealth for any benefits that were received upon the beneficiary’s death. Third party special needs trusts don’t include these payback provisions.
Special needs trusts are helpful additions to have along with the government benefits that are given to your loved one. The law office of Brandon L. Campbell has a special needs planning attorney who can help you and your loved one set up the trust that’s best for your family’s needs. Contact us today to get your plans started.