When creating a trust, there are many different issues you have to consider. Whether setting up an estate plan for yourself or on behalf of a loved one who has a disability, a special needs trust could offer a number of benefits. For example, this strategy could allow you to remain eligible for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.
If the SSI program serves you or your loved one with special needs, take a close look at your financial circumstances and the potential advantages of a special needs trust.
Assets in a trust can impact SSI eligibility
It is vital to understand how assets in a trust can affect SSI eligibility. According to the Social Security Administration, the assets in some types of trusts count as resources, which could leave you ineligible to receive SSI benefits. However, special needs trusts stand as an exception. Since assets in special needs trusts do not count as resources with respect to SSI, this could allow you to protect assets in an estate plan without losing SSI eligibility.
In addition to SSI benefits, trust assets can also affect Medicaid eligibility. If you worry about losing your Medicaid benefits, or your loved one counts on Medicaid, it is important to understand that a special needs trust can help safeguard Medicaid eligibility as well.
Creating an effective special needs trust
If you decide that a special needs trust makes the most sense in comparison to other estate planning options, make sure you review your financial details and the process of setting up a trust carefully. With an effective special needs trust in place, you can protect SSI eligibility, Medicaid eligibility and secure peace of mind.