Aging in Maine offers experience in helping families with their special needs estate planning. Whether your family needs a special needs trust for an elderly parent or a special needs trust for children we can assist you with your family's needs.
What is Maine Special Needs Planning?
A Special Needs Planning Attorney is crucial if you have a child, sibling, parent, spouse, or other loved one who is physically, mentally, or developmentally disabled whether from birth, illness, injury, or drug abuse. For this reason, they may be entitled to valuable government benefits (SSI and/or Medicaid) now or in the future. Unfortunately, most of these benefits are available only to those with very limited means.
As a result, you may find yourself faced with a difficult choice. In the event you leave a substantial inheritance to your special needs person then he/she will be disqualified from receiving government benefits that may be crucial for his/her care. On the other hand, you may not want to have to disinherit him/her to preserve these benefits.
Under those circumstances, a special needs trust will keep you from having to make this wrenching decision.
What can a Special Needs Trust do?
A special needs trust must be very specific in stating that its purpose is to supplement government benefits, to provide only benefits or luxuries above and beyond the benefits the special needs beneficiary receives from any local, state, federal, or private agencies.
It is critical that the trust does not duplicate any government-provided services and that this beneficiary does not have any resemblance of ownership of the trust assets. Otherwise, the government could attempt to seize the trust assets for repayment of services already provided or determine that the special needs beneficiary does not qualify for future benefits.
With this in mind, you will need to give the trustee complete control over the distribution of the assets and any income they generate; the special needs beneficiary cannot be able to demand any principal or interest from the trust. Therefore, you should give careful consideration to your choice of trustee.
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