Michigan Special Needs Planning & Trusts

Are you a parent of a special needs child? Is your spouse disabled?

Then you face a unique challenge: How do you make sure they’re cared for after you are gone?

We can help you construct a plan to protect your disabled loved one’s eligibility for government benefits programs.

How can I protect my disabled loved one?

Here’s the hard truth:

Many families accidentally disqualify their disabled loved one from government benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Medicaid, and Medicare. 

Why does this happen? 

These families wanted to love, support, and provide but didn’t take the correct route. They personally funded their disabled loved one with large amounts of money — usually via an inheritance. 

They think that by providing this large amount of money, their loved one would be provided for. But what happens is that they disqualify their disabled loved one from receiving benefits. Eventually, their personal funds will run dry. 

So, what should you do? We recommend a special needs trust.

How a Special Needs Trust works

This trust allows you to financially support your disabled loved one without jeopardizing their public benefits. 

In simple terms, this trust is a “middleman” between you and the government. 

Instead of directly giving money to your disabled child/spouse, you put your funds in this trust, and the government won’t count that against them. 

We can help you decide if a special needs trust may work for your unique circumstances.

The two types of Special Needs Trusts

There are two main types of special needs trusts. Which one is right for your loved one?

It all boils down to who is funding the trust, you (the caregiver) or them (the disabled).

Here’s a breakdown of each: 

First-Party Trust: 

Funded by disabled person’s own money (if they receive money through inheritance or lawsuit settlement).

When a disabled person dies, the money remaining in the trust goes back to the government to cover the cost of medical care received.

Third-Party Trust: 

Funded by someone else, like a parent. 

When the disabled person dies, the remaining funds go back to the family members and DOES NOT go back to the government.

Even if a trust is set up and funded, the disabled person’s public benefits could be eliminated if the funds aren’t used correctly.

There are many nuances in the law, which is why having an experienced special needs planning team in your corner will be essential to protecting your loved one now and after you’re gone. Contact us at (989) 567-2100 to get started today.

Properly protect your loved one.

Special Needs Planning is complex.

We can help.

Special needs trusts offer many benefits to families looking at the long-term picture. 

With a plan in place, you can ensure your disabled loved one is cared for, protected, and looked after no matter what.

Our experienced special needs planning attorney team takes the time to understand your present situation, your vision for tomorrow, and help you create a peace-of-mind solution that delivers for the long haul.

Benefits of a Special Needs Trust

Although the main purpose of a special needs trust is to protect a disabled person from losing their public benefits, there are additional benefits it provides, including:

Flexibility in how they are funded

Special needs trusts offer flexibility with how they are funded with cash, securities, and other alternative asset classes.

You control how much they get and when

The special needs trust allows for the exact timing of where and how assets are distributed per SSA and IRS regulations.

Contribute without getting taxed

With a SNT created for a child, parents, grandparents, and other family members can contribute to the trust without incurring a gift tax.

Provide a better quality of life

Those with special needs gain access to aid through programs like Medicaid and SSI. The special needs trust helps supplement their needs for a better quality of life without losing eligibility in those programs.

As you can see, a special needs trust is a big plus to you and them, but only if it is used correctly. 

We can help you determine the most appropriate way to structure the trust to meet your individual needs and to ensure their public benefits are uninterrupted.

Special Needs Trust guidance for your family's future

Our team has experience, knowledge, and insight to guide you through the complex rules that govern special needs trusts.

That’s why our first conversation with new clients is a discussion to see where we can provide the most benefit. It helps us nail down what’s important to you and your family going forward. With that in mind, we can start to shape the legal framework that protects your vision.

Contact us at (989) 567-2100 to get started today.

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