Spokane Special Needs Trusts Lawyers
Disabled individuals living in Washington and the rest of the US have access to a wide range of public assistance programs to provide support and independence. However, most of these programs are needs-based and have strict rules about financial thresholds. If a person with a disability earns or owns too much in terms of wealth, they do not qualify. This can create challenges if the individual inherits assets or receives gifts that make them too rich, leading to a lapse in programs that provide health care and other benefits. Through a special needs trust, it is possible to avoid such an unfortunate situation.
Creating a special needs trust is an effective way to provide support for a disabled loved one, but it must be done properly to retain eligibility for public assistance programs. Moulton Law Offices is prepared to advise you on options and draft the required trust documents. Our firm’s primary focus is estate planning, so we have the knowledge and experience necessary to help meet your objectives. Please contact us to schedule a consultation with a Spokane special needs trusts attorney, but an overview is also useful.
Basics of Special Needs Trusts: The point of this type of trust is to create separation, so the disabled beneficiary does not own an interest that would disqualify them from public assistance programs. There are three contexts in which to consider a special needs trust:
1. The disabled individual may own assets to put into the trust, which would be a self-settled trust. By law, the self-settled special needs trust must be created before the individual turns 65, and it must be irrevocable.
2. A person became disabled because of an accident, so the proceeds of the personal injury lawsuit would normally be included in net worth. Instead of paying the award directly to the individual, it is possible to create a special needs trust that separates the funds.
3. Most commonly, loved ones want to gift or pass assets by will to the disabled person. By establishing a special needs trust, you can retain the separation of ownership and still make distributions of trust funds.
How to Incorporate Special Needs Trusts in Estate Planning: When are in a situation of #3 above, you have multiple options to achieve your objectives. You might opt to create a testamentary special needs trust via your will, but many people choose a living trust that is effective during your lifetime.
Our Washington estate planning lawyers at Moulton Law Offices will help you navigate challenges, since special needs trusts are governed by strict rules. Distributions from the trust can pay for:
- Clothing and personal items;
- TV, computer, tablet, and other electronics;
- Assistance with cooking, cleaning, and household tasks; and,
- Many other expenses that are NOT covered by public assistance programs.
A Spokane Special Needs Trusts Attorney Will Advise You on Details
For more information on how to provide for a disabled loved one in your estate plan, please contact Moulton Law Offices. We can set up a case assessment with a Washington estate planning lawyer who can provide specifics on special needs trusts for your family.