What You Need To Know About Special Needs Trusts

If you have a family member who is unable to care for himself or herself without family assistance, you no doubt think hard about how to provide for that person in the future. If your adult child or your spouse lives with your daily practical assistance, a special needs trust may be a good option for protecting family assets while allowing that person to also qualify for government assistance through Medicaid, if appropriate.

Talk to an experienced estate planning attorney in central Arkansas to explore your options for providing for your disabled loved one. Rippy, Stepps & Associates can assist you in creating a special needs trust such as the following if it is suitable to your individual circumstances:

  • A third-party special needs trust: In this type of trust, the assets of parents, grandparents or guardians will be part of their estate plan(s) and will be distributed through a will or living trust.
  • A self-settled special needs trust: This type of trust will be funded by the disabled person's own assets, such as proceeds from a personal injury claim. Leftover assets after the death of the disabled child may be reclaimed in part or entirely by the state to account for public assistance provided by the government.

Whether the special needs trust you create or facilitate is part of your own estate plan with your disabled family member standing to benefit or a stand-alone trust funded with other assets, it has great potential to give you peace of mind and ensure that family assets benefit the disabled person per the family's intentions.

Contact Rippy, Stepps & Associates at 501-358-3932 or by email to schedule a consultation regarding any aspect of estate planning, including wills, trusts and special needs trusts.