Testamentary v. Free-Standing Special Needs Trusts

Testamentary v. Free-Standing Special Needs Trusts

Adding a child with special needs to your family can bring change and uncertainty to your life. You may contemplate what the future holds for your child and how to best plan for your child’s future. While you can never …
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I Have a Special Needs Trust for My Child. How Can I Use These Funds for My Child Without Affecting His Public Benefits?

I Have a Special Needs Trust for My Child. How Can I Use These Funds for My Child Without Affecting His Public Benefits

Parents most commonly establish special needs trusts for their children to provide financial support for them while not jeopardizing their eligibility for necessary public benefits. A special needs trust attorney can assist the parents in setting up the trust or …
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Taxes and Special Needs Trusts: What You Need to Know

Special needs trusts are an excellent way to provide additional financial support for a child with special needs without endangering eligibility for means-tested government benefits. However, these trusts do have potential tax implications, both for the trust itself and for …
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Are Illinois ABLE Accounts Subject to Medicaid Recovery or Clawback? Conflicting Guidance from the State and Federal Governments

Historically, the state of Illinois, like many states, implemented a “payback” or “clawback” provision that allowed it to seek reimbursement from ABLE accounts after a beneficiary’s death. The state could seize any remaining funds in ABLE accounts to pay for …
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How Social Security Evaluates A Trust As A Countable Resource

How Social Security Evaluates A Trust As A Countable Resource

A person’s resources affect the ability to qualify for crucial government benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) sets forth resource limits for SSI applicants and recipients. For example, to qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), countable resources must not be worth more …
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How The SECURE Act Affects Special Needs Planning – The Eligible Designated Beneficiary

How The SECURE Act Affects Special Needs Planning – The Eligible Designated Beneficiary

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act went into effect on January 1, 2020. The SECURE Act affects special needs planning, in particular, inherited IRAs owned by third-party special needs trusts. Historically, these types of trusts provide …
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What Is A Pooled Trust?

What Is A Pooled Trust?

Beneficiaries of government programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid must have limited income to qualify for these benefits. They may lose these crucial benefits if they receive an inheritance, an accident settlement, or simply accumulate too much …
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I’ve Established A Third Party Special Needs Trust, What’s Next?

I've Established A Third Party Special Needs Trust, What's Next?

Establishing a third-party special needs trust is a major step in providing for the needs of an individual with disabilities. Special needs trusts are complex and may be difficult to understand and administer. Once the trust documents have been signed, …
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What Expenses Can A Special Needs Trust Pay?

What Expenses Can A Special Needs Trust Pay?

The purpose of a third party special needs trust is to provide persons with disabilities the means to augment their quality of life while enabling them to remain eligible for needs-based public benefits. While a special needs trust is a valuable tool …
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Social Security Recipients to Pocket 5.9% Benefit Increase

Social Security Recipients to Pocket 5.9% Benefit Increase

Recently, the federal government announced the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2022. This adjustment is applied to federal benefits to be disbursed in 2022. Many analysts expected that the COLA would be the highest since 1983 when it was 7.4 percent. …
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Accounting Of Special Needs Trusts

Accounting for special needs trusts is not much different than accounting for other types of trusts. A trustee has a legal obligation to account for certain trust activities to beneficiaries and other interested parties. The trustee must adhere to federal …
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Understanding Eligibility Rules for Means-Tested Programs, Part Two

Understanding Eligibility Rules for Means-Tested Programs, Part Two

The second part of this blog will discuss the way that income is characterized for a means-tested entitlement program and how it affects a benefit award. The federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program rules distinguish between and characterize income in …
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Understanding Eligibility Rules for Means-Tested Programs, Part One

Understanding Eligibility Rules for Means-Tested Programs, Part One

Eligibility rules for many critical essential entitlements are means-based. Thus, any income and assets received by an individual with disabilities will affect the benefit awards that they potentially receive from these types of entitlement programs. Therefore, the effect of these …
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Distinguishing the Different Types of Special Needs Trusts – Third-Party Special Needs Trusts

Distinguishing the Different Types of Special Needs Trusts – Third-Party Special Needs Trusts

The two entirely different types of trusts that are usually referred to as “special needs” trusts are treated differently for tax purposes, benefit determinations, and court intervention. We already discussed Self-Settled Special Needs Trusts in our prior blog post. The …
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Distinguishing the Different Types of Special Needs Trusts – Self-Settled Special Needs Trusts

Distinguishing the Different Types of Special Needs Trusts – Self-Settled Special Needs Trusts

Greater awareness of disabilities in the last few decades has caused many of us to appreciate the need for special needs trusts. In most cases, the primary, essential purpose of a special needs trust is to improve the quality of …
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Some Important Issues To Consider When Creating A Special Needs Trust

Some Important Issues To Consider When Creating A Special Needs Trust

A child with special needs changes the life of a family in many ways. The parents of a child with special needs embark on an unplanned journey knowing little of what the future holds for their child. Planning for an …
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