Special Needs Planning in Connecticut
Special Needs Trusts
At Disability Planning Partners, we use the terms disability planning and special needs planning interchangeably. Both terms refer to planning for individuals who have a present or future need for public benefits, such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Although many public benefit programs have low financial eligibility limits, individuals with disabilities can use a very powerful planning tool known as a special needs trust to meet these low limits without “spending down.” We will work to answer your questions about special needs financial planning.
- A Special Needs Trust allows the beneficiary—who must be a person with a disability—to have the use of property that is held in the trust for his or her benefit, while at the same time allowing the beneficiary to receive needs-based government benefits.
- A Pooled Trust is a trust established and administered by a non-profit organization. In Connecticut, this organization is known as PLAN of Connecticut.
- A First Party Special Needs Trust (also known as a “D4A Trust” or “OBRA ’93 Trust”) is designed to maintain government benefits, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income. A First Party Special Needs Trust holds any money or property belonging to the individual with a disability. This Trust cannot hold money belonging to anyone other than the beneficiary. When the trust terminates at the beneficiary’s death, any remaining trust property must first be paid back to any state where the beneficiary received Medicaid support. If there is any remaining property after the state(s) is paid back, this is distributed among named beneficiaries, such as other family members.
- A Third Party Supplemental Needs Trust (also known as a “Third Party Special Needs Trust”) is designed to protect assets for the benefit of an individual with a disability, while still allowing such persons to be qualified for and receive governmental health care benefits, including long-term nursing care benefits, Medicaid, and Supplemental Security Income. This Trust holds money of anyone other than the beneficiary. For example, this trust holds an inheritance being passed along from a parent to a son/daughter with a disability. This Trust cannot hold any money belonging to the person with a disability. When this Trust terminates, any remaining trust property is distributed among the remainder beneficiaries named in the Trust.
While many attorneys can draft special needs trusts, the power of this document flows from how it is used. Your legal team at Disability Planning Partners will provide the step by step guidance and strategies necessary to ensure that you are getting the greatest benefit from your special needs trust.
Contact us today to learn more about special needs trusts and whether you or a loved one would benefit from this powerful planning tool.
To make sure you are on the right path for special needs or disability planning, call our team in Hartford, Connecticut at (860) 271-0486 today!
Planning a Future for a Loved One with Special Needs by Selecting the Best Trustee
If you are responsible for caring for someone with a Special Needs Trust, you may have many questions and concerns. Most frequently, we answer questions about the different types of Special Needs Trusts and explain what it means to be a Trustee.
We not only explain the duties and responsibilities of a Trustee, but we also help you to identify the best Trustee for your personal circumstances. The best Trustee is someone who knows and understands the beneficiary’s needs, and who is familiar with the rules surrounding the individual’s public benefits. In some cases, clients ask that our firm serve as Trustee for a loved one’s Special Needs Trust.
We always welcome the opportunity to act as Trustee, and in fact, have a full-time Trust Administrator dedicated to meeting each trust beneficiary’s daily needs. We view serving as Trustee of Special Needs Trusts as yet another opportunity to engage in a lasting, personalized partnership with our clients.
At Disability Planning Partners, one of our dedicated Hartford special needs planning attorneys can help you understand your rights and responsibilities as the caregiver or Trustee for a person with special needs.
Our team is here to not only address your immediate concerns, but to also help you plan for what to expect in the future. We work tirelessly with you to create a personalized plan that’s tailored to your exact needs, striving in every situation to build a lasting client-attorney relationship that you can rely on for years to come.
Special Needs Planning for Every Stage of Life
Special needs planning is an intricate, nuanced process. Every single stage will involve different challenges and decisions that must be made. The team at Disability Planning Partners is here for you every step of the way. With one of our experienced and caring Hartford special needs planning lawyers by your side, you can find peace of mind in knowing that your current and future needs are well-protected.