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What Are the Spending Rules for Special Needs Trusts?
A special needs trust is a powerful tool designed to safeguard the financial well-being of individuals with disabilities while preserving their eligibility for crucial government programs like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If your loved one were to receive a substantial inheritance or legal settlement — without proper planning — that windfall could disqualify them from the very benefits…
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Special Needs Planning without Special Needs Trusts
A substantial portion of our practice involves helping parents plan for an unclear future for their child with special needs. What sorts of resources will be there when I’m not? Who will take care of my child when I can’t? Will my child need Guardianship or Powers of Attorney? Do I need to create a Special Needs Trust? Will my…
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Eliminating the Biggest Downside of Special Needs Trusts: Income Tax
Each month, I host a presentation called “Special Needs Planning for Parents” aimed at taking a look at the complex issues involved in creating an estate plan centered around an individual with special needs. Part of the presentation talks about the cons of implementing a special needs trust. One of those, sometimes significant, cons is the potential for a high…
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NC Special Needs Trust Distributions: In-Kind Support and Maintenance
If you search online about “NC Special Needs Trusts” you’re likely to find some materials about what you can’t pay for. They’re often framed in the negative (“don’t buy this with a special needs trust”). I wanted to give an important example of what can be paid for under the SSI/Medicaid Income and Asset rules. This is the first of several articles explaining…
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Special Needs Trusts: Distribution and Income Rules
When can income in a trust be countable to the beneficiary even when the income is not distributed? If it’s a self-settled trust (first-party), any portion of the income that could be distributed under any circumstances to the beneficiary will be counted as income, as well as anything actually distributed. If it’s a third party trust that is not an…
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