There are four different types of Special Needs Trusts:
- First Party or Self-Settled Special Needs Trust;
- Pooled Trust;
- Income Only Trust or "Miller" Trust; and
- Estate Planning or Third Party Special Needs Trust
At Conover & Grebe, LLP, we also prepare Special Needs Trusts. The purpose of the Special Needs Trust is to protect the public benefits of an individual such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medi-Cal and In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS). This trust is started with funds from third parties such as parents or grandparents, someone other than the trust beneficiary and over which the trust beneficiary has no control.
Parents of children with disabilities want to give their children the best care possible while protecting the availability of these public funds. Estate planning strategies, for example, the creation of a Special Needs Trust, are a practical way to do this. Typically, such a Trust is funded upon a parent's death with that deceased parent's assets.
There is no requirement that on the death of the disabled beneficiary, that any remaining Trust assets in the Third Party Special Needs Trust be paid back to the governmental entity who provided benefits to the beneficiary during her lifetime. The three other types of Special Needs Trusts, listed above, other than a Third Party Special Needs Trust, are required to pay back any governmental entity that provided benefits to the disabled beneficiary to the extent the Trust has assets remaining at the time of the beneficiaries death.
If the Special Needs Trust is drafted securely, assets transferred to the Trust will not be counted for purposes of determining a child's eligibility for public benefits.
These benefits may include:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Medi-Cal (California's version of the Medicaid program)
- Certain housing benefits/the Section 8 program
- Home Support Services
- Food stamps
- Utility payment assistance
The law on Special Needs Trusts is complex. At Conover & Grebe, LLP, we are thoroughly familiar with the law and can design a Special Needs Trust that will achieve your goals.
The lawyers at the Torrance, California, law firm of Conover & Grebe, LLP, can assist parents in creating a Special Needs Trust to help their child obtain every advantage available while avoiding the loss of government benefits.
Contact Our South Bay Special Needs Planning Lawyers
To talk about your options regarding Special Needs Trusts, we encourage you to contact us. Speak with our Torrance Special Needs Trust lawyers by calling our law firm at 310-776-9028 or toll free at 866-661-9751 for a confidential consultation.