Financial Solutions for People with Special Needs
Without proper planning, the receipt of a lawsuit settlement, an inheritance, or any significant sum of money by a person with disabilities may have disastrous consequences. The funds may not be managed properly, and unscrupulous friends or relatives may try to take advantage of the situation.
We routinely work with persons with disabilities, their families, and their personal injury attorneys to evaluate goals, current health and future prognosis, and current and future public benefits in order to accomplish the goal of enhancing the person’s quality of life without unnecessarily impacting important public benefits. Tools may include trusts, ABLE accounts and/or spending down uncounted protected assets.
If you have a person in your life with special needs, advance planning to care for them is critical. You will want to discuss your options with an estate planning lawyer who can advise you on incorporating a Special Needs Trust or otherwise providing sufficient financial and care protections for the disabled or special needs person in your life.
Special Needs Trusts for Disabled People in Maine
What Is a Maine Special Needs Trust?
Special needs trusts in Maine allow physically or mentally disabled or seriously ill people to receive income without jeopardizing their eligibility for the public assistance disability benefits provided by Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Medicare or Medicaid. A special needs trust allows a person or entity to manage assets of the sick or disabled person.
With a special needs trust, someone can help a sick or disabled person financially without the risk of losing their eligibility for government benefit programs that limit the income or assets of that person.
How Does a Special Needs Trust Work in Maine?
A special needs trust is used to provide for the disabled person’s needs that are not paid for by their government benefits. Money and other assets held in the trust do not count for the purposes of qualifying for public assistance, providing they’re not used for somethings like food. A special need trust in Maine can be used to pay for things like medical expenses, caretaker services, transportation costs, and other similar expenses.
When you create a special needs trust in Maine, you will designate a trustee. The trustee of a special needs trust has control over the assets held in trust. A special needs trustee is in charge of managing its assets and the disbursement of funds. If the disabled person has assets that are place in the special needs trust, they may be subject to Medicaid’s repayment rules, but if someone else places assets into the special need trust, the Medicaid repayment rules do not apply. Special needs trusts that are funded by a third party are sometimes called a “supplemental needs trust.”
What are the Benefits of a Special Needs Trust?
The biggest benefit to a special needs trust in Maine is that the disabled person can receive financial support without the risk of losing their government benefits. But it also provides some peace of mind to the person establishing the special needs trust because the assets in the trust will be used only in the manner set forth in it. Additionally, because a special needs trust is irrevocable, the funds designated for the disabled person cannot be accessed by creditors or people with judgements.
Call a Maine Special Needs Trust Attorney for a Free Special Needs Planning Session
In Maine, special needs trusts can be complicated and usually require the assistance of an experienced Maine special needs trust attorney to ensure they are properly drafted. If you are contemplating creating a special needs trust in Maine, the estate planning attorneys at Jackson & MacNichol can help. Give us a call today at 207-360-8889 to schedule a free special needs trust consultation and planning session. We will review your situation and discuss the best options for your special needs trust.