Options Regarding Long-Term Care Planning In New Jersey
Parents of children with special needs often are particularly anxious about what the future holds for their children, wondering who will care for their children after their death or disability. Parents of children with special needs should be aware of a powerful estate planning tool called a supplemental needs trust that can help them provide for the long-term care of their children with special needs.
J. Jeffrey Press, P.A., has helped clients throughout New Jersey understand their options.
What Is A Supplemental Needs Trust?
A supplemental needs trust, sometimes called a special needs trust, is a trust fund designed to allocate assets to the long-term care of a person with special needs while still allowing that person to qualify for government benefits such as Social Security, Medicaid, subsidized housing and vocational training.
A trustee manages the assets in the trust. Therefore a beneficiary is not at liberty to spend them however he or she wants so the government does not include those funds when calculating income for the purposes of determining benefit eligibility.
The trust document must state that the trust funds are for “supplemental and extra care” beyond what government benefits provide. There are rules about what the money in supplemental needs trusts can go toward.
For example, Medicaid rules prohibit trustees from buying housing or food for beneficiaries with the funds in supplemental needs trusts. However, trustees must carefully interpret such rules. For instance, trustees may use supplemental needs funds to make housing more accessible for a person with a disability.
Talk To An Experienced Attorney Today To Learn More
Parents may feel overwhelmed by the task of planning for the future of a child with special needs. However, the process can go smoothly with the help of a skilled estate planning attorney.