Special-Needs Trusts Provide Care And Protect Resources

Caring for disabled or elderly family members can present financial and logistical challenges. A useful estate planning tool to ensure that these individuals will always be taken care of is to establish a special-needs trust. The Law Office of Walter A. Twachtman, Jr., J.D., LL.M., LLC has more than a half-century of legal experience and our founding attorney understands that each family’s will and trust needs are unique. Our firm will take the time to get to know you and craft estate planning documents that protect your legacy and those who will inherit it.

Types Of Special-Needs Trusts

There are two major kinds of special-needs trusts – first-person trusts and third-person trusts.

  • In a first-person trust, the money placed in the trust belongs to the beneficiary of the trust. This can be useful, for example, if the originator of the trust (who is also the beneficiary in many cases) has received a personal injury or other civil settlement and receives income-sensitive payments such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • In a third-person trust, the trust is funded by someone other than the beneficiary, such as their parents or another donor. This type of trust might be used by parents who need to provide for the ongoing needs of a disabled child.

Another form of special-needs trust is a pooled trust, in which a nonprofit agency acts as trustee for a group of people with special-needs trusts.

Important Questions To Answer When Forming A Special-Needs Trust

Before setting up a special-needs trust, your attorney will want to know:

  • The age and disability status of the potential beneficiary
  • Their ongoing care needs
  • If the beneficiary requires Medicare, Medicaid or SSI income protection
  • Whether a guardianship or conservatorship for the beneficiary will be needed to legally handle their trust funds
  • If the beneficiary has received an inheritance or a civil lawsuit settlement

Discuss Your Trust Questions With Us

The Walter A. Twachtman, Jr. focuses on elder law and estate planning. To learn more about special-needs and other types of trusts, call our offices in Glastonbury at 860-659-5657 or use our online contact form. We serve clients in Glastonbury and Manchester and throughout Hartford County.