When you have a child or loved one with special needs, you want to help ensure they have what they need and are set up for success. Doing so involves scheduling appointments, setting up therapy and medical care, and providing for them financially. Many people accomplish this by putting together a special needs trust with their loved one as the beneficiary. This arrangement can be especially helpful in covering the costs that government assistance programs, like Social Security Insurance (SSI), do not address.
If you have a loved one with special needs, a Round Rock special needs estate planning lawyer at Robbins Estate Law can help. We provide compassionate, competent, and considerate legal counsel to individuals and families who want help setting up a trust for their loved ones. We take the time to understand their priorities and work together to create a plan that fits their situation and budget. Contact us today.
What Is a Trust?
A trust is a legal instrument that people can set up for the benefit of others. The person who creates the trust is the settlor. The person who administers the trust is the trustee. Finally, the person who benefits from the trust (such as by receiving income or support) is the beneficiary. A validly created trust can own, sell, gift, and transfer property and enter into contracts like a person.
There are many types of trusts, all of which serve a particular purpose. For example, special needs trusts can be revocable, meaning the settlor can make changes to the trust—or irrevocable, which are not easily altered. A Round Rock special needs estate planning attorney can review your situation and advise you on the most appropriate type of trust for your circumstances.
What Is a Special Needs Trust?
A special needs trust is a type of trust people put together to benefit someone (perhaps a child or close relative) who cannot care for themselves. In many cases, a family member puts together the trust for a child with a physical or mental disability. Through the trust, the family helps ensure their loved one has the financial ability to pay for their living expenses, medical care, and other costs.
Putting together a special needs trust can be beneficial in part so that others, such as close friends and family members, can contribute resources to the support of the loved one with special needs. Having a separate fund in place helps ensure the money is safe and kept apart from other finances and, therefore, always there when needed. In Texas, there are multiple types of special needs trusts, such as first-party special needs trusts, third-party special needs trusts, and pooled special needs trusts.
A special needs estate planning attorney in Round Rock understands how important it is to provide for your loved ones with special needs. The Robbins Estate Law team has years of experience helping clients understand their legal options and crafting trusts that protect their loved one’s assets and provide much-needed support. We approach each case with fresh eyes to create a personalized plan for our client.
First-Party Special Needs Trusts
With first-party special needs trusts, the person with special needs uses their own assets to establish a trust in their name. They typically list themselves as the beneficiary and name a trustee (for example, a parent) to administer the trust. They may also list a successor trustee as a backup if the primary trustee can no longer serve in that role.
Third-Party Special Needs Trusts
With a third-party special needs trust, someone other than the person with special needs creates and primarily funds the trust. For example, a parent or grandparent may create a trust for the benefit of their child or grandchild. As with a first-party trust, the trustee may be a parent or another individual or organization to carry out the instructions in the trust. Further, the person who creates the trust typically chooses a successor trustee.
Pooled Special Needs Trusts
Typically, a pooled trust must be created and administered by a nonprofit organization (such as The ARC of Texas Master Pooled Trust). The company must establish a separate account for each beneficiary but can pool assets for investment purposes. People can use this option to pool their assets together for the benefit of their loved ones. The trustee invests the pooled funds to generate more income for the beneficiaries, thus helping the money to go further. Because of the unique requirements in setting up a pooled trust, it can be crucial to have a special needs estate planning lawyer in Round Rock, TX, to help establish such a trust.
The Compassionate Team at Robbins Estate Law Can Help
At Robbins Estate Law, we are masters of our craft. Instead of operating as a “revolving door” office, taking whatever case comes our way, we intentionally focus our efforts on all aspects of estate planning, administration, and litigation. As a father, Kyle Robbins understands how important it is to create a plan to provide for your loved ones. His children inspired him to focus his law practice solely on estate planning. He enjoys helping his clients create special needs trusts to provide long-term financial care for their loved ones.
Contact our team today to schedule a consultation with a Round Rock special needs estate planning lawyer at our firm.