Special Needs Trust Administration
Lifetime Security for Your Disabled Child
Establishing a well-funded Special Needs Trust (SNT) for a disabled child in Massachusetts is an important part of providing them with a lifetime of safety, security, and quality of life after you are gone. Money, managed well, means options, choices, and a better life.
What Can Special Needs Law Group Do to Help?
If you are the trustee of a SNT, finding good legal counsel is the key to ensuring the continued health and wellbeing of the individual under your care, and keeping you operating clean and trouble-free. Special Needs Law Group of Massachusetts serves as legal counsel to a great many friends and family members who are trustees of SNTs.
Alternatively, Special Needs Law Group itself serves as a trustee of Special Needs Trusts for beneficiaries all over Massachusetts. Clients may name us as trustee because they prefer an experienced professional, or when no family member or friend is available (or appropriate) to serve. In some circumstances, a current trustee of an SNT may decide that he or she is not the right choice for the job and seek a professional to take over as trustee.
How Can Special Needs Trust Funds Be Used?
Many trustees mistakenly believe that a Special Needs Trust can only be used to pay for medical goods and services or other items that are directly related to the beneficiary’s disability, however, if an SNT is well drafted, that is not the case.
Special Needs Trusts can be used to pay for just about anything that benefits the beneficiary, such as: home and vehicle maintenance, vacations, computers and other electronic equipment, education expenses, or monthly phone, cable and internet services. It can be used to pay for things like rent, however, this reduces the amount of SSI benefit the beneficiary receives.
Precautions for SNT Trustees
It is important to note that there are technical requirements that must be met while serving as a trustee.
- You must follow all of the terms and instructions in the trust document, even if they are more restrictive than public benefits law requires.
- Trust assets for the beneficiary must be used in ways that do not affect the beneficiary’s public benefits.
- Only beneficiaries of the trust may benefit. For a self-settled d4A Trust, that means just the disabled individual and for third-party SNTs, it means only those the trust document states may benefit.
- The trust must be treated with the utmost respect. The trustee should not borrow from the trust nor commingle the trust assets with the trustee’s personal assets.
Administering a Special Needs Trust can be complicated and confusing, and making the wrong decision can be problematic. At the Special Needs Law Group of Massachusetts, we are Special Needs Trust administration experts who provide trustees with the reliable advice they need to ensure the best quality of life for the trust’s beneficiary. We also serve as Trustees of Special Needs Trusts, even for beneficiaries outside Massachusetts.
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