Special Needs Trust: Unlock the Secret to Your Family’s Financial Future

Sep 22, 2023trust, Trusts

Leslie Thomas, Attorney

A Special Needs Trust is a vitally important tool for securing the future of individuals with disabilities.

Sure there are social security and medicaid benefits, but when it’s a family member you’re responsible for, you need to ensure they will have enough money for their lifelong needs.

A special needs trust ensures that your loved one’s needs are met, even when you’re no longer there to provide for them.

Establishing this kind of trust is difficult, but it is essential for securing the long-term welfare of a person with special needs. It requires the benefit. 

Let’s take a closer look at what a special needs trust is, and how it works.

What is a Special Needs Trust In Texas?

One legal instrument stands out for its unique role in safeguarding the interests of individuals with disabilities: The Special Needs Trust.

A Special Needs Trust is designed to guarantee that recipients can get monetary assets, such as gifts or legal settlements, without compromising their qualification for government assistance like Medicaid and Social Security in Texas.

A special needs trust works by supplementing income provided by public benefits. It protects assets from being counted towards asset limits set by these programs, thereby maintaining eligibility.

This is not a typical estate plan, so navigating through this intricate legal landscape requires precise knowledge and expertise. You’ll want to consult estate planning attorneys who are experienced with special needs planning in Texas.  

But we can provide you with some of the basics before you make that appointment.

Here is a brief video on special needs trusts.

What is the Special Needs Trust Statute in Texas?

A special needs trust is a revocable or irrevocable trust established with the assets (income or resources) of a person under age 65 who meets the SSI program’s disability criteria

The trust must be established for the person’s benefit by a parent, grandparent, legal guardian, a court, or the beneficiary. 

Who Qualifies for a Special Needs Trust in Texas?

The primary beneficiaries of this type of trust are individuals with a physical or mental disability. The qualifications for a special needs trust in Texas are clear-cut and designed to ensure that those who need assistance receive it. 

How Does a Special Needs Trust Work?

A special needs trust is a legal arrangement that allows the disabled individual to receive financial support without jeopardizing their eligibility for government aid programs like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid

A trustee is responsible for overseeing the trust and ensuring that funds are used in ways that benefit the beneficiary.

The trust’s assets can be utilized to cover a broad range of expenditures that improve the recipient’s quality of life. 

One key aspect of a special needs trust is that the funds are not directly accessible by the beneficiary. 

Instead, the trustee has full control over the disbursement of funds in Texas, ensuring they are used in a way that does not disqualify the beneficiary from government aid programs.

A special needs trust can be funded in various ways. It can be established with the beneficiary’s own assets, such as an inheritance or a personal injury settlement.

It can also be funded by contributions from family members or through life insurance policies.

In effect, a special needs trust serves as a financial safety net, offering additional resources while safeguarding public assistance eligibility. However, establishing such an intricate legal framework demands expert guidance.

It’s the best vehicle to plan for Medicaid asset protection in the state of Texas.

How to Set Up a Special Needs Trust

Setting up this type of trust document requires careful planning and legal expertise. 

Creating this trust document requires a careful assessment of your assets and unique situation. This is where your Texas attorney’s experience and expertise come into play, making sure the disabled beneficiary is well protected now, and for the rest of their life. You don’t want to get this wrong.

A special needs trust is not a DIY task, nor is it a simple legal document just any lawyer can create. 

To ensure all the legal prerequisites and details meet the state’s requirements, you will need an estate planning attorney specializing in this field.

What Can a Special Needs Trust Pay For?

A special needs trust acts like a supplemental needs trust. It helps cover areas not covered by government benefits programs in several key areas. 

First and foremost, it covers medical expenses that insurance or state aid may not fully cover. 

Education is another area where a special needs trust can be very beneficial. The trust assets provide the needed support for continued educational growth.

It can also be used for housing and transportation, rent payments, vehicle maintenance charges – you name it. These basic human services are covered on behalf of the trust beneficiary.

Fostering Quality of Life Improvements

Beyond basic necessities, special needs trusts also aim towards enhancing the quality of life through funding recreational activities – be they art classes or sports memberships. 

These enrich lives but often fall outside government assistance coverage.

Let us now turn our attention to potential violations associated with Special Needs Trusts so you remain informed about legal complications that could arise down the line.

Special Needs Trust Violations

It’s important that the trustees understand the legal requirements for administering the trust. As violations might lead to a loss of benefits.

Get a Special Needs Trust Attorney in Fort Worth

Establishing a special needs trust can seem intimidating, but it is a must for families with disabled members. At Thomas Walters, PLLC, we simplify this process and help protect your assets and care for your loved ones in your absence.

Understanding the ins and outs of Medicaid in Texas or navigating the best trust options for a child with disabilities doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

Creating Tailored Solutions for Those with Special Needs

We begin by identifying your unique circumstances. Every family has its own dynamics, financial situation, and goals – we take all of these into account when formulating strategies.

Your peace of mind matters most, so we design your trust specifically around your loved one’s special needs requirements now, and in years to come. 

Navigating Complex Regulations for Special Needs Trusts in Texas

We don’t just stop at setting up the special needs trust – ongoing management is key as well. Our team stands alongside you every step of the way, providing expert guidance tailored towards achieving optimal outcomes for your loved one with special needs.

Let’s Summarize a Special Needs Trust

Understanding Special Needs Trusts is a critical step in securing the future of individuals with disabilities.

This legal arrangement ensures that your loved ones can receive financial support without compromising their eligibility for government aid.

The funds from this trust can be used to cover various costs like medical expenses, education, housing, and more.

If you’re looking into establishing a Special Needs Trust or have questions about it, Thomas-Walters PLLC has got you covered!

Our team specializes in estate planning and special needs trusts both locally and across the great state of Texas.

Give us a call –  let’s secure the future of your loved ones together! 817-258-5908

FAQs in Relation to Special Needs Trust

What are the disadvantages of a special needs trust?

A Special Needs Trust, while beneficial in many scenarios, has its share of drawbacks. Its setup can be complex and may incur significant legal fees and administrative costs.

Beyond that, once funds find their way into this trust, retrieving them for other uses is not an easy task.

How do I protect my assets from Medicaid in Texas?

In the Lone Star State, there are various strategies to shield your wealth from Medicaid’s grasp. A prominent method involves creating an Irrevocable Trust.

This kind of arrangement allows you to transfer asset ownership into the trust, effectively protecting them from being counted as personal resources by Medicaid.

What type of trust is appropriate for a person with a disabled child?

If you’re supporting a disabled child who benefits from public benefits programs like SSI or Medicaid but also requires additional financial assistance beyond these schemes’ limits, establishing a Special Needs Trust (SNT) could be advantageous.

An SNT ensures that extra care expenses won’t jeopardize eligibility for essential public aid programs.

We are here to help you with all of your estate planning needs.


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