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Trusts Archives

Addressing future care needs of Pennsylvanian Special Needs Loved One

Trusts may be helpful for special needs individuals, regardless of their ages. Often, it is believed that only older people might require residence in a nursing home, but there are conditions and illnesses that make it necessary for younger special needs people to receive this level of care.

Will a trust help you plan for your long-term care needs?

A trust, or legal instrument that transfers title from an owner to a trustee to administer on behalf of the beneficiaries, can complement financial planning in a variety of areas: retirement, long-term care needs, and estate plans. A law firm that focuses on estate and long-term care planning can help you create trust terms that will fit your specific needs.

Protecting a Son or Daughter with an Inheritance

A goal of estate planning for many parents is to leave assets to adult children and other heirs. In some cases, however, parents may worry about the possible negative consequences of doing so. Consider these statistics: According to a recent report issued by U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, in 2015, more than 20 million Americans struggled with substance abuse disorders. In addition to addiction, the National Institute of Mental Health reports that tens of millions of Americans struggle with other mental health disorders that negatively and often severely impact their lives.

Providing For A Disabled Child

For any parent, providing for the basic and higher needs of a child is a top priority. As a child grows, a parent's list of concerns typically evolves from worrying about and providing for a child's basic needs and physical safety to ensuring that a son or daughter obtains an education and the skills needed to find a job and live on his or her own. However, parents who have a child with a physical, mental, or developmental disability may need to protect and provide for a child well past his or her eighteenth birthday.

Trusts - Is one right for my family?

Trusts of various types have been described in the last several blogs - Revocable, Irrevocable, Testamentary and Special Needs.  There are other types of trusts as well, such as those for charities, pets, or education.  Whether or not Trusts are right for your estate plan depends on your family's needs and your assets.    

Special Needs Trusts

Special Needs Trusts are funded with the assets of a special needs or disabled beneficiary and are intended to preserve eligibility for Medicaid (Medical Assistance), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and other government benefits. The beneficiary may have obtained the assets by settling a personal injury case, winning the lottery or inheriting money from a family member who failed to do proper estate planning.  Unless these assets are put into Special Needs Trusts, the special needs beneficiaries could lose important government benefits. 

Testamentary Trusts

Testamentary Trusts are trusts that are in a Last Will and Testament.  These Trusts have Settlors (who set up the Trusts by writing them in their Wills), Trustees (who manage the Trusts after the Testator passes away and the estate has been administered) and beneficiaries (who receive benefits from the Trusts).  Testamentary Trusts can be used to take care of assets for minors (who may be children or some other relative of the Testator), to take care of assets for an individual with special needs, or to take care of a pet.  Testamentary Trusts may be set up for some other purpose, such as for charity. 

Irrevocable Trusts

Irrevocable Trusts may be used for estate planning or long term care planning purposes to protect assets. Irrevocable Trusts, like Revocable Living Trusts, have Settlors (who set up the trust), Trustees (who manage it) and beneficiaries (who receive benefits from it). The Settlors are not usually the Trustees since these types of trusts are used to remove assets from being considered as belonging to the Settlors. What are some uses for Irrevocable Trusts? 

Revocable Living Trusts

Revocable Living Trusts may hold assets during your lifetime so that you or someone else can manage them. Revocable Living Trusts have Settlors (who set up the trust), Trustees (who manage it) and beneficiaries (who receive benefits from it). These Trusts are often set up by Settlors (husband and wife) for themselves while they are living. The Settlors' assets must be re-titled in the name of the Trust.  Revocable Living Trusts may be revoked or cancelled by the Settlors at any time. The Settlors may also be the Trustees and the primary beneficiaries while alive.  There will usually be contingent Trustees named to manage the Trust and secondary beneficiaries to receive the benefits after both of the Settlors have passed away.    

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