At Surprenant & Beneski, P.C., our estate planning attorneys know that if someone you love has special needs, you also face special challenges. Our practice has extensive experience helping clients like you assist close family members in their struggles to lead productive, secure, and fulfilling lives. One of the estate planning tools we strongly recommend is a special needs trust which we can help you create.
What Is a Special Needs Trust (SNT)?
At its core, a Special Needs Trust holds assets for the benefit of an individual with special needs without jeopardizing their access to essential government benefits. The assets within an SNT can be used for various purposes that enhance the beneficiary’s quality of life, such as education, entertainment, recreation, counseling, and transportation beyond what is covered by government programs.
A Special Needs Trust is invaluable when it comes to securing the future of a loved one with disabilities. Whether created for a child or an adult, this trust is designed to manage resources while maintaining the beneficiary’s eligibility for public assistance benefits like Medicaid (MassHealth) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). In Southeastern MA, where we proudly serve a diverse clientele, understanding the nuances of an SNT is essential.
This trust is not just a financial arrangement; it’s a lifeline that supports the unique needs of individuals with disabilities, ensuring not only that their basic needs are met, but that they have the resources they need to thrive.
Things to Be Considered When Selecting a Special Needs Trustee
Choosing the right trustee for your SNT is a decision of great importance since the trustee’s role is not just administrative. Being a special needs trustee is a fiduciary role, meaning that the trustee must act in the best interests of the beneficiary at all times. Beyond that, a special needs trustee should be both compassionate and responsible since this individual will be tasked with:
- Managing trust assets
- Making prudent investment decisions
- Understanding the beneficiary’s needs
- Ensuring the proper distribution of trust funds without compromising the beneficiary’s eligibility for public assistance.
When selecting a trustee for your loved one, it is essential to consider their financial acumen, their understanding of your beneficiary’s needs, their ability to navigate legal and governmental regulations, their kindness, and their commitment to acting in the beneficiary’s best interests.
Depending on your specific circumstances and the nature of the beneficiary, sometimes we recommend assigning the role of special needs trustee to a professional trustee or a trust company. This may be a more suitable option if there are complications due to the nature of your relative’s disability or complex family dynamics.
Advantages of Having a Special Needs Trust
Establishing a Special Needs Trust offers numerous advantages by providing:
- Protected eligibility for government benefits
- Flexibility in terms of individualized support of your beneficiary
- Potential tax advantages to both grantor and beneficiary
- Peace of mind to both parties
How Our Special Needs Trust Attorney Will Help You to Create a Special Needs Trust
At Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. we are adept at creating Special Needs Trusts tailored to the unique circumstances of each client. One of our lead attorneys, Daniel Surprenant, is a dedicated member of the National Special Needs Alliance. Our process involves:
- Take the time to understand your unique situation, personally as well as financially.
- Offering you expert legal guidance to make certain your trust is in full compliance with state and federal laws and meets the precise needs of both you and your beneficiary.
- Drafting and executing the trust meticulously
- Providing you with ongoing support and advice as time passes and the situation changes
Contact Our Experience Special Needs Trust Attorneys Now
Dealing with a special needs child or adult can be overwhelming, not only in terms of what you have to do but in terms of the weight of responsibility you carry. Let us help to lift your burden by creating a Special Needs Trust to relieve your mind and secure your loved one’s future.