A Special Needs Trust document will provide a trustee specific instructions in providing for the beneficiary. Generally, the trustee has sole discretion in making distributions for the “health, education, maintenance and support” of the beneficiary. Typically that means that the beneficiary can receive a distribution to help maintain an accustomed standard of living. However, the trustee must be careful to avoid providing unlimited funds at the risk of depleting trust assets or damaging other benefits. Primarily, income from other sources along with government benefits should be considered when making an important distribution decision to ensure funds and eligibility are protected.
If you are in the process of creating a trust document, make sure your document is explicit in the instructions it provides to the trustee on making a distribution to the beneficiary. This will protect the funds as well as avoid putting the trustee in an awkward position when making tough decisions.
Please feel free to contact a Golden Financial Services advisor with specific questions or concerns about your Special Needs Trust document or trust administration.
Potentially, you’ve thought about or have already accomplished the creation of a Special Needs Trust for your loved one. The trust is usually either created within your Last Will and Testament or is drafted as a stand alone document. Either way, it is important to make sure all parties to the trust (trustees, trust protectors, trust advisory members, beneficiaries, etc.) understand what the trust document says.
In particular, you want to make sure everyone knows who can receive distributions from the trust, how they receive the distribution and any limits on the amount they can receive. Additionally, all should be aware of debt or tax obligations of the trust, the specific responsibilities of the parties involved, any compensation available to the parties from the trust, and what services from professionals may be available or should be utilized.
Not only is it important to have a Special Needs Trust in place for your loved one, but you want to take special care to ensure anyone involved in the process is aware of the document and understands the instructions contained within the document.
Please feel free to contact a Golden Financial Services advisor with specific questions or concerns about your Special Needs Trust document.
A common question that arises concerning a Special Needs Trust is: “Should a family member be the trustee (or the successor trustee) for the trust”? This is a great question with a simple “yes” or “no” answer. Read more
It is a good idea to have a professional trustee review your Special Needs Trust document. If you have just created a Trust or need your existing Trust reviewed, a professional trustee can provide you a review from a Corporate Trustees perspective. Although they are NOT attorneys and will NOT provide legal advice, a professional trustee works with (and lives with) the instructions contained in a Trust document every day. In essence, they are able to provide you details on how the Trust language reads from an administrative point of view, utilizing their trustee expertise. Read more
In a Special Needs Trust, you may find it best to appoint a family member as the Trust Advisory Committee rather than as the Trustee. Many parents believe that a capable sibling of a disabled child would be the best trustee; however, this generally does not work out well for the family. Read more
What is it and what does it do? A competent, responsible adult should consider having a Durable Powers of Attorney. This legal document allows a person (the Principal) to appoint another person or organization (the Agent or Attorney-in-fact) to act on his or her behalf in all matters designated in the document. Read more
Have you been named as a successor trustee of a Special Needs Trust or are you creating a trust and need to select someone for that role? If the answer is yes, you might be wondering what you should do, where you should begin, and whether or not you are prepared for that role? The following checklist will provide you direction if you are about to embark in that role or if you are deciding who you should name as your successor trustee for a Special Needs Trust. Read more
A Special Needs Trust is used when you have a loved one in your life that will need some manner of assistance in the future. The amount of assistance can vary from protecting against basic financial vulnerabilities to providing full 24-hour care. If you have a Special Needs loved one in your life, regardless if their condition is mild or severe, you should consider the use of a Special Needs Trust in your planning. Read more
When planning for the future of a Special Needs loved one, having the right legal documents is paramount. You may be using a Last Will & Testament or you may be using Living Trusts to transfer assets to your beneficiaries in the future. Of course, multiple approaches work; however, please keep in mind these simple concerns when putting together your legal documents when planning for the future of your Special Needs loved one. Read more