Phone: 602-996-4076   Email: sue@susansandys.com

SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST PHOENIX

Living in Phoenix? How a Special Needs Trust Benefits Your Family

Trusts are a great way to make sure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and used for their intended purpose. Special needs trust in Phoenix are trusts that fulfill a specific need for disabled children and adults.

 A special needs trust is a special type of trust. they do not work as well when they are put in a will. There are three types of special needs trusts, and each has its own requirements.

First-party trusts allow disabled persons to have more than the allotted $2,000 in assets as long as any extra assets are placed in a trust and used to reimburse the state for care after the death of the beneficiary; many of these are established by courts. The second type is a third-party trust. This is commonly used by family members.  A family member, such as a parent, will set up a special needs trust in their estate planning documents to get the peace of mind that their disabled child will be financially set for life.  The third type is a pooled trust, where individuals can pool resources for the purpose of making investments as a group while maintaining individualized access to financial aid.

What is a Special Needs Trust?

Unlike other types of trusts, special needs trusts are designed to provide additional funds for disabled, dependent adults and children without jeopardizing their eligibility for state or federal benefits like Medicaid or SSI. They can be established by parents, grandparents, guardians, or a court in the state of Arizona.  

Who Qualifies for a Special Needs Trust?

One of our primary concerns as parents is making sure that our children will be financially secure after we're gone. Special needs children are often unable to live independently and need support from Social Security and government-funded medical insurance to survive. Inheritances going directly to the disabled individual can cause them to lose their eligibility.

That's where a special needs trust can fill the gaps and provide you with peace of mind. They're able to side-step the eligibility requirements by providing funds for extras that aren't covered under SSI (Supplemental Security Income through Social Security) or other government benefits. The trust is managed by a trustee.

Special needs trusts are legally valid for the disabled child's lifetime.  I tell my clients that special needs trusts cover the costs of all things that add to your child’s quality of life, including, but not limited to, things like clothing, adaptive devices, televisions, travel, medical care not covered by insurance, a vehicle, and the cost of a companion/caregiver.  The assets in the trust must be used only for the benefit of the disabled individual.

The Duties of a Trustee

It is common to have the trustee of your revocable living trust as the trustee of the special needs trust. This can be a friend or family member. Because special needs trust have specific spending and reporting requirements, sometimes people choose someone else to be the trustee. There are companies, called private fiduciaries, that will serve as trustees for special needs trusts.

Your First Choice for a Special Needs Trust Phoenix

Each state has its own regulations regarding special needs trusts. When you want to establish a trust for a disabled family member in Arizona, the law firm of Susan L. Sandys is a natural choice. I specialize in the areas of law that affect families like yours every day. My experience began with 11 years representing families for the Department of Child Safety, and I have spent the last 20 plus years specializing in estate planning law.

While planning for death and incapacity can be very uncomfortable, I do my best to keep the estate planning experience as casual and chatty as possible.

If you have an estate planning question or a special legal issue regarding a disabled dependent, I have the compassion, experience, and legal knowledge to help. Call to request an appointment today.

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AVVO Accredited Estate Planning Lawyer
Better Business Bureau Accredited Estate Planning Lawyer

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