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An important part of estate planning is making sure every member of your family will be financially supported after you pass away, especially those with more extensive needs. A special needs trust is a type of legal trust developed for this exact purpose.

At Webster & Garino LLC, our estate planning lawyers are well-versed in developing special needs trusts that ensure the financial security of your most vulnerable loved ones. We understand you’re concerned about the happiness and safety of the loved ones you leave behind. That’s why we go above and beyond the one-size-fits-all standards set by the State probate process to ensure the distribution of your assets has the greatest positive impact on you and your family.

Contact Webster & Garino LLC for trustworthy special needs trust attorneys in Westfield, Indiana.

What is a Special Needs Trust?

A trust is similar to a will in that it plays a role in designating where your assets go after you die. But unlike a will, using a trust can help you avoid the State’s probate process. In preparing a trust, you can choose a trustee to help distribute assets privately or to help manage your assets if your beneficiaries are minors, for instance.

A special needs trust (SNT), or supplemental needs trust, is a specific type of trust that is designed especially for beneficiaries with a disability. These can include family members with medical conditions that render them unable to care for and financially support themselves, as well as an adult child. As a parent or caretaker of an individual with a disability, an SNT can give you the ability to designate assets and funds to be distributed to your loved one after you’re gone, giving you peace of mind they’ll always be safe and secure.

An SNT is a type of irrevocable trust. On the positive side, this means the funds may be protected from lawsuits and creditors later on, but it also means it is not amendable or able to be revoked without extensive proof of special circumstances or a court order.

Why Do You Need a Special Needs Trust?

You may be asking, “Why do I need an SNT?” or “How is leaving behind assets in an SNT any more beneficial to my loved one with disabilities than a standard trust?”

The answer lies in your family members’ eligibility for government benefits. Many individuals with disabilities receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or take part in programs like Medicaid. For many of these government health care and supplement income programs, even a small amount of money from another source can cancel out eligibility.

The main benefit of Indiana Special NeedsTtrusts is that they allow you to pass your financial legacy to your disabled loved one, while also preserving their access to government benefits.

The advantages of an SNT are profound and simple to understand, however, the process of developing such a trust is highly complex. A skilled special needs trust attorney from Webster & Garino can help you navigate this process so you can protect your loved one on all fronts.

Types of Special Needs Trusts

Parents or caretakers of a person with disabilities often feel immense anxiety because they’re worried about a future in which their loved one is on his or her own. You can take back your peace of mind when you create a special needs trust.

The first step involves choosing the right type of SNT for your unique situation. In Indiana, residents can choose from two distinct SNTs:

  • Third-Party Special Needs Trust: A third-party SNT is set up by a person who is not the individual with special needs. Also called a grantor or settlor, this person is typically a parent, grandparent, sibling, or related caretaker of the disabled individual. Assets in this trust can come from a variety of sources including monetary gifts, proceeds from life insurance, and inheritance redirected into the trust.
  • First-Party Special Needs Trust: A first-party SNT is a trust that you set up for yourself as a disabled individual. Since December 2016, the federal Special Needs Trust Fairness Act has made it legal for individuals with disabilities who are declared mentally competent to create and benefit from a first-party SNT. These trusts are commonly used by disabled individuals who receive an inheritance or previously healthy people who are disabled later in life via accident or unexpected illness.

There are many nuances involved in developing and maintaining each type of SNT and clients can benefit from the expertise of an experienced estate planning lawyer in Westfield, Indiana, such as our team at Webster & Garino LLC. Call us today to get answers to all your questions about special needs trusts in Indiana.

Professional Protection for Your Loved Ones

At Webster & Garino LLC, our trust administration team is prepared with the knowledge and experience to set up an efficient SNT for the benefit of your disabled family member.

Our top priority is to educate you on the State law and requirements of an SNT. We will carefully explain your rights as a settlor so you can make informed decisions to determine the legacy of your assets.

When we start the process of developing an SNT, there are several aspects of your unique situation our Westfield attorneys will need to consider before recommending a quality course of action. These factors include:

  • How many family members wish to donate to the trust?
  • Who is your desired trustee?
  • Upon the beneficiary’s death is the trust required to be reimbursed to Medicaid?
  • How many, if any, assets has the disabled person received in the past?

Thanks to our expertise in several related practice areas of estate planning including, standard trusts, legal wills, power of attorney, and will and trust disputes, we are prepared to provide excellent legal representation through every challenge that may arise when creating your trust.

As your dedicated estate planning attorney, our services span the entire lifetime of your trust. We can be involved from your initial consultation to the management of your trust by a trustee after your passing if you so choose. Contact Webster & Garino LLC to start developing your trust today.

Choose Webster & Garino LLC’s Dedicated Trust Solutions

Webster & Garino LLC understands the need to leave behind future financial support for your loved ones, especially those experiencing disabilities that prevent employment. With more than 50 years of combined legal expertise, we’ve provided clients in Westfield, Indiana, and the surrounding areas with efficient special needs trust solutions as part of our comprehensive estate planning offerings. Contact us today to schedule your appointment with a compassionate special needs trust lawyer.