Memphis Special Needs Trusts Lawyers
Shelby County Attorneys for Trust Creation and Administration
Throughout your lifetime, you have undoubtedly worked very hard to provide for your family. With proper estate planning, you can continue to offer your loved ones security and peace of mind that can last for many years after your death. At the offices of Douglass & Runger, Attorneys at Law, we provide comprehensive estate planning services to families in Tennessee. We know that caring for a dependent with a disability or special needs can be challenging, and we can assist you in creating a special needs trust to meet your dependent’s long-term needs.
A special needs trust is also sometimes known as a supplemental needs trust. Like any trust, a special needs trust is a financial arrangement that places assets under the management of trustee for the intended benefit of the beneficiary or beneficiaries named by the trust’s creator. There are many applicable regulations, rules, and laws that apply to special needs trusts, and an experienced estate planning lawyer can help ensure that your trust complies with all of them.
Understanding Special Needs Trusts in Tennessee
If you have a family member or a loved one with a disability or special needs, you probably realize that different government programs can provide assistance and financial benefits for that person. Each program has unique rules regarding eligibility for benefits, but most state and federal programs take into account the income and available assets of the disabled applicant. With that in mind, a substantial inheritance could cause a disabled individual to be disqualified from benefit programs like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid, even if he or she has been receiving benefits for a long time.
A special needs trust, however, may provide a solution. When you place assets under the ownership of the trust instead of leaving them directly to a person with special needs, the assets are not considered to belong to that person. They belong to the trust. This means that the person’s eligibility for government assistance programs will not be affected.
Types of Special Needs Trusts
There are two primary types of special needs trusts: first-party trusts and third-party trusts. A first-party special needs trusts is a trust that is created and funded using assets that already belong to the intended beneficiary. For example, if a disabled individual were to receive a large settlement in a personal injury claim, the funds from the settlement could be placed into a first-party special needs trust. A third-party special needs trust is one that is created and funded using assets belonging to someone other than the beneficiary. Third-party trusts are commonly used in estate planning to provide for the long-term needs of a disabled dependent or loved one with special needs.
At the offices of Douglass & Runger, Attorneys at Law, we know that there are many requirements that will need to be met when creating and funding a special needs trust. Specific rules also exist regarding how the trust’s assets can be used. Our skilled attorneys will work with you in deciding whether a special needs trust is a good option for you and your family. If it is, we will help you choose a responsible trustee, fund the trust in accordance with all applicable laws, and ensure that your loved one is protected both now and for many years to come.
Call a Memphis Attorney for Guidance Today
If you have questions about special needs trusts, contact our office to get the answers. Call (901) 388-5805 to schedule an initial consultation at our office. We will work hard to ensure that your loved ones with special needs are properly cared for in your comprehensive estate plan.