Estate Planning & Probate Specialists

Estate Planning & Probate Specialists

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Caring For The Needs Of Someone You Love

If you have a family member or child who is unable to work or requires long-term care or other assistance, you need a special needs trust, also called a supplemental needs trust.

The Law Office of Sharon C. Stodghill can help you set up a special needs trust to provide for a child or other family member with a disability without harming his or her eligibility for public assistance benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Medicare and Medicaid.

Not all trusts preserve a disabled person’s eligibility. Support trusts, for example, which specify that trust income must be used for the health, welfare and support of a beneficiary, can disqualify your beneficiaries. A knowledgeable, experienced estate planning lawyer can ensure that your intent to help your loved ones doesn’t end up harming them.

Avoiding the Negative Consequences of Helping Your Dependent Beneficiaries

Our Houston trusts attorneys can help you set up either of two types of special needs trusts:

  • Third-party special needs trust: This is created using your assets and is distributed by a will or living trust.
  • Self-settled special needs trust: This is created using your loved one’s assets. These assets can be a settlement from a personal injury lawsuit or other property that belongs to the beneficiary.

Anyone can be appointed trustee in a special needs trust, including the person funding the trust if he or she is still alive, and the trust is a stand-alone trust.

Trust funds cannot be used for the beneficiary’s medical care, food, clothing or shelter covered by government programs such as Medicaid or SSI. They can, however, be used for rehabilitation and medical care that are not covered by public benefits, as well as home modifications, education, transportation, travel, recreation, hobbies and other things that can enhance the quality of your beneficiary’s life.

Call us today at 713-464-6412 or contact us by email to learn more about special needs trusts. Our attorneys offer sound legal advice and tailored service for clients in Houston.