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Trusts

Planning Techniques to Help Gain Medicaid Eligibility

For older Americans seeking assistance with the costs of long-term care through Medicaid, income and assets must fit within the established guidelines. One of the most basic of the Medicaid guidelines is that you must spend down your assets before qualifying for state or federal assistance. Strict Medicaid rules are in place to prevent people from getting around the rules. However, numerous strategies are used to circumvent the rules. 5 Common Strategies Used to Qualify for Medicaid Without Spending Down Assets:   Irrevocable Trust: An irrevocable trust allows loves ones to receive the financial benefits of your assets. In the simplest...

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The Duties of a SNT Trustee

Are you considering taking on the duties and responsibilities of a trustee of a special needs trust? If so, you probably have questions about exactly what those duties and responsibilities are and what it means to be a SNT trustee. While there are many potential duties, these five responsibilities will constitute the majority of what a SNT trustee will need to manage. Duties of a Special Needs Trust Trustee: Make Distributions from the Trust: The trustee is legally required to abide by the terms of the trust when making distributions. Before the SNT trustee can make a distribution, they must...

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The Two Types of Special Needs Trust

Special Needs Trusts (SNTs) fall into one of two categories: first-party SNTs and third-party SNTs. The first step in creating a special needs trust is determining which type you need, which will depend on whose property funds the trust. If the property funding the trust originates with the beneficiary of the SNT, it is a first-party SNT. If the property funding the trust belongs to someone other than the beneficiary, it is a third-party SNT. The Third-Party Special Needs Trust: Commonly used by individuals planning in advance for a loved one with special needs, parents of special needs or disabled individuals...

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Qualified Income Trusts: Qualifying for Medicaid Benefits with a High Income

Eligible applicants for Medicaid’s long term care benefits must have income and assets that fall under the allowable limits. Individuals who do not qualify for Medicaid due to income higher than the permissible limits of the Medicaid process who don’t have enough income to pay for long term care should consider a Qualified Income Trust (QIT). Using Qualified Income Trusts (QITs), excess income is directly deposited monthly into a restricted funds account. The money in the restricted funds account is limited to use for one specific reason. Restricted funds accounts associated with QITs are reserved explicitly for paying nursing home bills...

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Assigning a Trustee to a Special Needs Trust

If you are interested in creating a Special Needs Trust (SNT), one of the first decisions you will need to make is who to designate as the trustee. The rules do not allow for the trustee to be the beneficiary (the individual with a disability) or their spouse. If the beneficiary of a special needs trust or their spouse is the designated trustee, the funds held in the trust would automatically be considered a resource, or asset of the beneficiary under Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid rules. Since trust assets would then be regarded as countable assets, the beneficiary...

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What is a Supplemental Needs Trust or Special Needs Trust?

A special needs trust or supplemental needs trust as they are sometimes called, allows individuals to designate special needs individuals to receive gifts, legal settlements, or other funds without losing their eligibility for government benefits programs. This type of trust is drafted so that the funds are not considered as “belonging” to the beneficiary when their eligibility for public benefits is being determined. Special needs trusts (as the name implies) are designed to pay for comforts and luxuries that could not be paid for by public assistance funds. They are not intended to cover basic support costs. Instead they are designed...

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An Introduction to Elder Law and Wills

As we age, we face a lot of important decisions. We have to make decisions regarding how to receive care, where we live, and what’s going to happen after all the important questions are answered. Many issues that come with age have significant legal implications and elder law attorneys are there to advise you, help you make the best preparations, and be your advocate. Major Elements of Elder Law Planning: Will: A will and testament is a legal document that allows you to express your wishes regarding the distribution of your property at death. It also allows you to designate an executor...

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Tax Savings with Special Needs Trusts

The Special Needs Trust, sometimes referred to as Supplemental Support Trusts, provide support for someone that receives means tested benefits such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) without affecting their eligibility for the benefits.  After a Special Needs Trust is established and funded, it is very important that the administration of the account be handled according to the rules regarding qualifying expenses. In order to qualify as a special needs trust, only specific expenses can be paid for using trust assets. In too many cases, a beneficiary is unintentionally disqualified from receiving their SSI or Medicaid benefits when expenses...

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