A special needs trust is a legal entity that provides for the needs of a disabled person. Most often, parents establish the trust for a child whose physical or mental challenges present significant obstacles to independent living. The trust administrator manages the assets and disburses funds for the beneficiary’s maintenance. At Skabelund Wirig & Loos, we have extensive experience helping grantors establish special needs trusts to secure their loved one’s future. We listen attentively to fully understand your circumstances so we can suggest a range of options to help you accomplish your goals.
When you establish a special needs trust, you transfer assets into a legal entity that becomes the technical owner, and you appoint a trustee to manage the assets according to your plan for the beneficiary. A trustee has a fiduciary duty to protect the assets of the trust through prudent investment and competent management.
The trustee can only disburse funds to a beneficiary according to the terms of the trust. For example, a Support Trust provides funding for food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and education to completely meet the beneficiary’s basic needs. However, in many cases, a goal of the trust is to provide monthly maintenance for a person who receives government benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid. Here, a Supplemental Needs Trust can provide additional income to improve the beneficiary’s quality of life while allowing the beneficiary to remain eligible for benefits.
There are two basic types of special needs trusts:
The goal of the special needs trust is to provide funding for the life of the beneficiary. If there are any assets left in the trust when the beneficiary passes away, the trust can name someone to receive those funds. However, if the beneficiary has received government benefits, the trustee must first use remaining assets to pay back those programs.
With a special needs trust, you can protect your loved one from future hardship. But accomplishing this goal requires careful planning and assistance from experienced and knowledgeable trust lawyers.
Skabelund Wirig & Loos provides reliable advice for creating special needs trusts that protect your vulnerable loved ones. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced and concerned attorney, call us at 801-788-4447 or contact our office online. We are conveniently located at 1149 West Center Street in Orem, just off I-15.