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Special needs trusts

Helping you provide for all the needs of a disabled loved one, using both personal and governmental support.  

Las Vegas Special Needs Trusts create a safety net for family members who will need extra care during their lifetimes.  This type of trust are used for individuals born with handicaps or persons who have been are involved in an injury (like a car accident) that created a disability.

Using a properly established Las Vegas special needs trust, a disabled person would be able to keep money given to them while maintaining the ability to receive the medical care they need through Medicaid.  The purpose of a Special Needs Trust is to help you provide for all the needs of a disabled loved one, using both personal and governmental support.  

Unlike the other types of trusts available, the primary goal of a special needs trust is to give handicapped persons the financial support they need throughout his or her life.

FAQ’s Las Vegas Special Needs Trusts

Can I protect Medicaid rights with a Special Needs Trust?

One of the primary purposes for creating a Special Needs Trust is to allow someone the ability to maintain the advantages of having an estate but also utilize the government programs that are available. For a Special Needs Trust to make an estate exempt for Medicaid eligibility it must meet specific requirements.

These requirements are:

  1. The trust must be established by a parent, grandparent, legal guardian, or a court
  2. The trust must be for the sole benefit of a beneficiary who is an individual under age 65 and the beneficiary must be disabled according to the Social Security definition
  3. The trust must provide that upon the beneficiary’s death, the state is reimbursed from the trust for all Medicaid benefits paid on behalf of the beneficiary unless exempt (see below)

What is a Special Needs Trust used for?

Special Needs Trust have very specific rules as to what can and cannot be purchased with the trust estate funds. Every state has different regulations as to what can and cannot be purchased. Special Needs Trust should be used for “supplemental and extra care over and above what the government provides.” It is the trust’s job to observe and understand what is not offered by government benefits and fill in the gaps to cover the shortfall.

The underlying intent of a Special Needs Trust is to provide for an great lifestyle for a person with special needs (while maintaining government benefits). A properly managed Special Needs Trust will allow a disabled individual to live a very full life.

Why can’t I just leave money to a family member who can take care of my special needs loved one?

Rather than pay an attorney to create a special needs trust, you may be think to leave some money to a friend or relative who agrees to watch out for your loved one’s needs after your death. However, the short term benefit you gain by not having to pay an attorney will have several long term disadvantages.

The main problem with not creating a Special Needs Trust is that the person to whom you leave the property will own it outright. In this scenario, there will be no way to be sure that the money will end up benefiting your loved one no matter of how trustworthy the person’s initial intent may be. For example, the money you have set aside for your disabled loved one would be available to that person’s creditors in a bankruptcy or lawsuit.

In addition, the property you have given could pass to that person’s heirs if he or she were to pass away. Also, if that person became divorced, the spouse could claim a share of the money. Not to mention that the person you give the money to could also spend it on a car or something else they want. Unfortunately, if the person spends the money on themselves there is nothing legally that you can do about it.

Does my trust have to repay Medicaid or other State and Local Funding Sources?

Typically, you do not have to repay Medicaid or other State and local benefit sources while the beneficiary is living. The rules state that payback to Medicaid is required unless you meet certain circumstances. These circumstances are as follows:

  1. A Special Needs Trust is funded by a third party (like parents)
  2. A Trust that is created out of a court order due to a personal injury settlement

If assets do need to be repaid, only the assets that originally belonged to the disabled individual before the trust existed will need to be paid back.