Two trusts that can benefit your loved one with special needs

There are several types of trusts, each of which provides benefits according to an individual’s particular circumstances.

In the state of Georgia, there are two types of trusts designed specifically for those with special needs.

About special needs trusts

The objective of this kind of trust is to supplement the benefits that someone with special needs receives from government programs. The assets of the trust are managed in such a way that they do not compromise the disbursement of those benefits.

First-party self-settled trust

The beneficiary of a first-party self-settled trust has already received funds, usually as the result of an inheritance, a lawsuit settlement or other court decision. As long as these assets reside in a first-party special needs trust, he or she may qualify for Supplemental Security Income or SSI. The trust funds are available for the lifetime benefit of the beneficiary. After death, any remaining funds go to reimburse the government for the medical care provided to the beneficiary.

Third-party special needs trust

Parents or other relatives of a special needs person often set up a third-party special needs trust to benefit their loved one. This particular trust can hold any kind of asset that belongs to the family, such as a house, or various investments. Like the first-party self-settled trust, the assets held in a third-party trust do not interfere with the receipt of government benefits. However, this trust does not have a government payback provision. Any funds that remain after the death of the beneficiary can pass either to family members or a charity.

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Kevin Tharpe

With 25 years of experience, Kevin understands how estate planning, special needs planning, and government benefits programs work together. This is a crucial element of a thorough plan. He explains your eligibility for benefits programs and ensures that you do not make costly mistakes that may disqualify you or deplete your assets.

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