Special Needs Trusts

Elder Law Lexington offers knowledgeable and experienced counsel in the administration of special needs trusts.

Elder Law Lexington, the law firm of McClelland & Associates, PLLC, offers knowledgeable and experienced counsel in the creation and administration of special needs trusts for clients in Kentucky. A special needs trust is a legal document that can protect a disabled person who receives assets and can protect them with a higher quality of life. A special needs trust can not only allow people with special needs to inherit money from a loved one, but also continue to manage that money for the rest of their lives, providing extras not available with government benefits.

If you have a child, spouse or parent incapable of taking care of themselves due to a medical condition, injury, disability, mental illness, degenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s or substance abuse, our experienced Kentucky attorneys can guide you in the inclusion of special needs planning as part of your estate plan. If family members don’t make provisions for the supervision, care and security of a person with special needs, it will be left to the courts to make important decisions regarding guardianship, trustees and the distribution of assets.

Elder Law Lexington advises having special needs planning in place to avoid important decisions being made by government agencies, the state and the courts. A special needs trust can preserve government benefits and avoid the loss of eligibility. Our law firm can assist in the selection of a trustee, who will manage the trust established for the individual. A letter of intent should be finalized that includes detailed instructions regarding the special and personal day-to-day care needs for the person with a disability.

A special needs trust in Kentucky is a special type of trust that is created for a person who qualifies for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid or other government benefits. Since assets are held in the name of the trustees, they are not owned directly by the beneficiary and do not count as the beneficiary’s personal assets. With years of experience handling estate planning needs of people in Kentucky, Elder Law Lexington recognizes the importance of helping people make informed decisions about special needs trusts that can ensure their dependent loved ones will have proper funding for:

  • Recreation/Education
  • Medical treatments
  • Mental and physical rehabilitation
  • Food and living expenses
  • Transportation needs
  • Other supplemental needs

A first party private special needs trust should be established no later than the beneficiary’s 65th birthday. If you have a disabled or chronically ill beneficiary, you may want to consider establishing the special needs trust at an early age. One benefit of having the first party private special needs trust in place is that if the disabled beneficiary becomes the recipient of funds such as gifts, bequests or a settlement from a lawsuit, they can immediately be transferred to the special needs trust without affecting that individual’s eligibility for government benefits.

The attorneys at Elder Law Lexington can advise clients regarding the use of Able Accounts as alternatives to first party special needs trusts to give more independence to the account holder who is an SSI or Medicaid beneficiary.

Third party special needs trusts are usually created by relatives’ estate plans:

  • Common law special needs trust
  • Sole benefit trust
  • Wholly discretionary trust
  • Specific state sanctioned trust

Regardless of income, a third party special needs trust should be established to protect a disabled beneficiary from potential creditors. If your disabled beneficiary is ever sued in a personal injury action, the assets in the special needs trust will not be available to the plaintiffs. Furthermore, because the funds in the special needs trust are not countable as available assets for purposes of determining government benefit eligibility, more of the money can be used for supplemental expenditures allowing your disabled beneficiary to enjoy a higher quality of life. Otherwise, much of the assets will be used to pay for private care benefits that are extremely expensive and can drain significant sums of money over time.

If you need the assistance of a Kentucky special needs trust attorney, contact Elder Law Lexington, the law firm of McClelland & Associates, PLLC. Set up a consultation by phone at (859) 543-0061 or (800) 773-4040 or by e-mail at contact@elderlawlexington.com