According to data from the US Census Bureau, approximately 1 in 10 individuals in the state of Nevada suffers from some kind of disability. These individuals face problems that are not faced by those who are not disabled. For this reason, those who have guardianship over, or otherwise care for, these disabled individuals should be aware of the steps that they can take to shield them from the onerous laws of the state and federal government.
Without a doubt, one of the best ways protectors of the disabled can ensure that their charges receive the utmost care is to establish special needs trusts. If you find yourself in this position, then we’re here to explain the legal situation facing the disabled within the United States and how you can obviate these issues by establishing a special needs trust.
The Problem Facing the Disabled in the United States
In the majority of cases, those who care for the disabled lack the financial means to do so by themselves. To make up for this gap, the government provides certain benefits to the disabled, which ostensibly should help them to get whatever care is needed. However, as with most government programs, the benefits of the state leave a lot to be desired. For this reason, those that care for the disabled often find themselves supplementing the benefits that their disabled charges receive.
Disabled individuals who receive benefits from the government in the form of Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income have limitations placed upon the assets that they are allowed to hold. Although these disabled individuals can have whatever they want, possessing a certain level of assets automatically disqualifies them from continuing to receive the benefits that the government provides. This means that an inheritance, or receiving other assets may become a financial disadvantage for the disabled person.
Special Needs Trusts as a Solution
Thankfully, there is a way to get around this issue, and it’s called the special needs trust. In a nutshell, such a trust acts as a way to make sure that a person with special needs is provided with ample funds, while at the same time not directly passing those funds to the person with special needs, which would disqualify him or her from the government benefits they are receiving.
Generally speaking, the grantor will establish the fund and then select a trustee who will be responsible for overseeing the special needs trust. This trustee should be someone trustworthy and who has the disabled individual’s best interests in mind. That’s because the funds in the trust are accessed directly by the trustee in order to purchase goods and services for the disabled individual. While the trustee provides these benefits for the disabled individual, these benefits are not considered to be “owned” by them, as they are technically owned by the trust.
If there is someone that you care for that you think could benefit from a special needs trust, then get in touch with a Nevada estate planning lawyer like the ones in our office. They can help you to set up the trust and ensure that the disabled person that you care for is tended to, not only now, but also into the future.