Special Needs Trust Lawyer in Massachusetts
Like many parents of children with special needs, you likely worry about your child’s future after you pass away. Will they have enough resources to live in comfort and dignity? Is their inheritance safe? Will they remain eligible for government benefits?
One way to secure your child’s financial, medical, and custodial needs is to create a special needs trust. At Casey Lundregan Burns, P.C., we can advise whether this legal instrument is right for your family. Call us at (978) 878-3519 to speak with a special needs trust lawyer in Massachusetts.
What Is a Special Needs Trust?
A special needs trust, also known as a supplemental needs trust, holds assets for the benefit of an individual with a disability or chronic illness. Examples of assets you can place in a special needs trust include:
- Real estate,
- Motor vehicles,
- Personal effects,
- Life insurance policies,
- Assets to attain an occupational goal, and
- Property essential for self-support, such as tools and equipment required for a business or a trade.
When setting up the trust, your special needs trust attorney will ensure the trust agreement states the assets are not meant to provide basic support but will only fund supplemental benefits and services, including:
- Special dietary needs,
- Personal care attendants,
- Physical rehabilitation,
- Medications not covered by benefits,
- Out-of-pocket medical and dental expenses,
- Recreational activities, and
Types of Special Needs Trusts
Special needs trusts come in various forms and determining which one will be right for you will depend on your personal circumstances. An experienced special needs trust lawyer in Massachusetts will be able to recommend the appropriate trust type for you and your family.
Irrevocable Special Needs Trust
Special needs trusts are typically irrevocable. That means you cannot modify or revoke them during your lifetime once you set them up.
You should consider creating an irrevocable trust if you wish to minimize income tax liability, as well as if you plan to put over a million dollars into the trust.
Third-Party Special Needs Trust
In a third-party trust, the assets funding the trust were originally owned by you or another third party.
First-Party Special Needs Trust
First-party trusts usually come into play when a person with a disability receives an inheritance, retirement funds, a life insurance payout, or a personal injury settlement. As the name suggests, the trust assets originate from the beneficiary themselves.
What Are the Benefits of a Special Needs Trust?
Any substantial amount of money or assets — including gifts, inheritances, or personal injury settlements — can disqualify your child from government benefit programs such as:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI),
- Housing subsidies, and
- Food stamps.
By transferring ownership of the assets to a special needs trust, you can preserve your child’s eligibility for benefits without risking their inheritance or quality of life.
Contact a Massachusetts Special Needs Trust Lawyer
Planning the future of a child or adult with special needs can be emotionally and legally challenging. At Casey Lundregan Burns, P.C., we have been helping families with special needs children navigate the complexities of estate planning for over 90 years. Call (978) 878-3519 to speak to a special needs trust lawyer in Massachusetts.