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Trust Services

Don’t let an inheritance, financial windfall or personal injury settlement disqualify you from the public benefits you rely on for basic care.  You’ve earned those benefits.  Why risk losing them?  Special Needs Trusts safeguard your personal assets and provide for the comforts of life that public benefits don’t cover—all without jeopardizing your eligibility for government assistance. A Special Needs Trust helps you keep what’s rightfully yours.  Let Arc South Florida Trust Services show you the way.

Can a Special Needs Trust Help You?

A Special Needs Trust is a legal contract under Federal law, in which someone (trustee) agrees to hold assets (money and/or property) for the benefit of a disabled individual.  This type of trust provides you, the disabled individual, with resources you can use to pay for special or supplemental needs while preserving your eligibility for government benefits, particularly Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid.  You can use your trust funds for medications, non-essential medical care, comfort services, companion services, entertainment, electronic equipment and personal care services without risking the loss of public benefits. 

You may be a good candidate for a Special Needs Trust if you:

  • Inherited money from a deceased friend or relative.
  •  Received a personal injury settlement.
  •  Were awarded assets in a divorce settlement.

Arc South Florida Trust Services can connect you to the resources you need to set up a Special Needs Trust tailored for your situation.  What You Get from a Special Needs Trust. When you have a properly-designed trust, you get peace of mind and a comfortable lifestyle.  You also get:

  • Protection for inheritances and personal injury settlements
  • Continuation of your government benefits while you rely on trust funds to pay for extras
  •  Less burden on other family members
  • The ability (in certain situations) to leave assets to other family members upon your death
  • Professional management of your funds by experienced trustees

 Without A Trust, You’re At Risk

If you’re a disabled adult without a Special Needs Trust to protect your assets, you’re risking more than you may realize.

  • You risk losing your government assistance and relying on your assets to provide for basic care and to maintain your lifestyle.
  • You face the prospect of reapplying for benefits only after all your personal assets are depleted.
  • You also face mismanagement of your assets if you rely on family members or other non-professionals to handle your funds.

It pays to know what you’re risking by NOT taking advantage of the protections offered by a Special Needs Trust. Arc South Florida Trust Services connects you to the legal resources to set up a Special Needs Trust that meets your needs.

What About Family Members As Trustees?

You may be wondering if it’s possible to set up a Special Needs Trusts on your own.  On the surface, having a family member serve as trustee may seem like a logical choice because family members are usually in the best position to understand your special needs.  Unfortunately, unless the family member is an expert in Special Needs Trusts, he or she will probably not have the knowledge needed to fulfill the role of trustee and may inadvertently jeopardize your eligibility for public assistance programs.  That’s why it is very important to rely on experts to set up and administer your Special Needs Trust. 

More about Special Needs Trusts

A Special Needs Trust is a legal contract under federal law, in which someone (trustee) agrees to hold assets (money and/or property) for the benefit of a disabled individual. This type of trust provides the beneficiary with continuation of government benefits, particularly Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. The end result is that assets are preserved for the disabled individual’s special or supplemental needs. It works because the trust assets are not counted as an available resource. And, it is designated for supplemental needs only, not for replacing governmental benefits.

 Types of Special Needs Trusts include:

  • Pooled Trusts, also called (d)(4)(C) trusts because of where they are found in the Federal Statute that authorizes them, are a type of Special Needs Trust that is established and administered by a non-profit association. 
  • Qualified Income Trusts, which are created specifically to meet income cap requirements.  While not referred to as such, these trusts are found at (d)(4)(B) in the Federal Statute.
  • Third Party Special Needs Trusts, which better allow families to create plans for meeting special needs that fit within more traditional estate plans.
  • A Master Third Party Pooled Trust, which allows families with modest assets to create a plan for meeting a loved one’s special needs.
  • Sole Benefit Trusts, which can be created for the spouses of Medicaid recipients or their children with a disability.
  • Settlement Preservation Trusts, which can be created to safeguard personal injury cash settlement awards when it has become too late for a structured settlement.

 Services for Professionals

Whether you’re an attorney, a financial advisor, estate planner or other professional who serves the disabled, providing trustee services for Special Needs Trusts may fall outside your core competency.  Even if your firm agrees to serve as trustee, your staff may not have the know-how required to protect the trust beneficiary’s eligibility for public assistance programs. 

If you’re an attorney who specializes in mass torts, the stakes are even higher. Attorneys have an obligation to advise clients with long-term disabilities about the impact of settlements on their eligibility for Medicaid and other public benefits, which are essential resources for those who face ongoing medical care. 

Arc South Florida Trust Services offers the support you need to provide your clients with the guidance they deserve.  Trust Arc South Florida Trust Services to connect you to specialized legal expertise that will help minimize your professional liability.

Can a Special Needs Trust Help Your Client?

A Special Needs Trust is a legal contract under Federal law, in which someone (trustee) agrees to hold assets (money and/or property) for the benefit of a disabled individual.  This type of trust provides the disabled individual with resources that can be used to pay for special or supplemental needs while preserving his or her eligibility for government benefits, particularly Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid.  Trust funds can be used for medications, non-essential medical care, comfort services, companion services, entertainment, electronic equipment and personal care services without risking the loss of public benefits. 

Your client may be a good candidate for a Special Needs Trust if he/she is disabled and has experienced a:

  • Financial Windfall ~ Your client (a disabled adult or child) receives an inheritance, gift or personal injury settlement that could jeopardize eligibility for government assistance, forcing reliance on the newly-acquired assets to finance all living expenses. 
  • Divorce ~ Your client receives a divorce settlement containing assets that could disqualify him or her from public benefits. 

Benefits of a Special Needs Trust

With properly-designed trusts, clients get the peace of mind that comes from knowing that assets are safe and loved ones are provided for. They also get:

  • The ability for to set aside funds for a disabled child
  • A secure and comfortable lifestyle for the disabled individual
  • Less burden on other family members
  • Protection for inheritances and personal injury settlements

The ability (in certain situations) to leave assets to other family members upon the beneficiary’s death

Without a Trust…

If your client is disabled and doesn’t have a Special Needs Trust to protect his or her personal assets, he or she risks having to rely on personal assets to provide for basic care and to maintain his or her lifestyle. Your client will be faced with the prospect of reapplying for benefits after all personal assets are depleted. Your client also risks mismanagement of assets and loss of government assistance if you rely on non-professionals to handle his or her finances.