Special Needs Trusts

What is the Difference between a First-Party Special Needs Trust and a Third-Party Special Needs Trust?

I received an email this week from someone who had a special needs trust for a sibling. She wondered if her sibling could put some of his own assets into a special needs trust that a family member created for him. Special needs trusts are not all the same. First-party special needs trusts are designedRead More

Would You Like A Will With That Special Needs Trust?

Several parents have contacted me recently about setting up stand-alone special needs trust for their children. Unlike a supplemental needs trust that is created in a Will and funded at death, a stand-alone special needs trust is established during one’s lifetime and funded immediately. Clients are often prompted to establish a stand-alone trust because relativesRead More

Guidance For Trustees of Special Needs Trusts

If you have been named as the trustee of a special needs trust, you likely have many questions about how to administer the trust. You can get many of the answers you need in the Special Needs Alliance Guidebook for Special Needs Trustee. This excellent guide provides definitions of unfamiliar words, distinguishes self-settled special needsRead More

Should I Disinherit My Disabled Child to Protect His Benefits?

Parents whose children are receiving government benefits, such as SSI and Medicaid, know that those benefits are means-tested. Those with countable assets greater than $2,000 can lose their eligibility to receive SSI and Medicaid. So they worry about leaving an inheritance to a child who may be receiving these benefits. To avoid disqualifying their childrenRead More

Will a Uniform Transfers to Minors Account Negatively Impact My Child With Special Needs?

Uniform Transfers to Minors Accouts (UTMA) accounts are an easy and inexpensive way for parents, grandparents and other well meaning individuals to make irrevocable gifts to minors without the expense of creating a formal trust. They are easily established by opening the account in the custodian’s name “as custodian for [name of minor] under theRead More

Writing a Letter of Intent for Child With Special Needs

Every parent worries about whether their children will be well cared for if tragedy strikes. But the worries are compounded for parents of children with special needs who lack the capacity to communicate their needs to caregivers. As a parent of a special needs child, you know their needs and desires, likes and dislikes andRead More