As a person ages, they may need to rely on government benefits such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income in order to pay for nursing home care and other personal care needs. However, in order to qualify for these programs, a person can only have a nominal amount of income and assets. People in the Tucson area may wonder if there is a way to qualify for such benefits without impoverishing themselves. One way to do this is through a special needs trust.

What is a special needs trust?

A special needs trust is a means for providing a person with a physical or mental disability with a stream of income that will not be counted when it comes to qualifying for public assistance or government disability benefits. Like other trusts, a trustee in a special needs trust has a fiduciary relationship with the disabled person, acting on behalf of them and managing the trust assets.

What can a special needs trust pay for?

In general, the trustee in a special needs trust will distribute trust assets to the disabled person to pay for medical bills, pay caretakers, pay for the costs associated with obtaining medical care, along with other legally permitted expenses.

Medicaid repayment

However, it is important to note that if the assets placed in a special needs trust were originally owned by the disabled person, they may be subjected to rules regarding Medicaid repayment. However, if the assets placed in the special needs trust were originally owned by a third party, these assets may not be subjected to rules regarding Medicaid repayment.

Should your estate plan include a special needs trust?

Ultimately, there are benefits to including a special needs trust in your estate plan. However, this post does not contain legal advice and cannot guarantee any specific result when it comes to applying for public assistance or government benefits. Special needs trusts are complex documents, so Tucson area residents who are interested in learning more about them may want to seek professional guidance on the matter.