James A Wickre Attorney

James A Wickre Attorney
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Monday, April 28, 2014

Special Needs Trusts

There are several types of  "Special Needs Trusts." The one I am writing about today is the "Special Needs Trusts" that is funded with funds other than the funds of the person in need of a Special Needs Trust.  This is typically done by a grandparent or parent leaving property and other assets in their estate plan to an adult child (under 65)who is receiving governmental benefits because of a disability and do not want to endanger eligibility for governmental benefits. This kind of Special Needs Trust does not need to pay back governmental benefits after the adult child dies. The Trust is not funded with the adult child's income or assets  but with gifts and bequests from others.

 The advantage of this trust is that it is a receptacle for gifts and bequests from others to supplement the needs of the disabled adult child. It can increase the choices available to the adult child  so that the comfort and personal dignity of the adult child are enhanced by trust distributions. The distributions can not be made for support such as board and room or medical treatment.  However, the following list illustrates some of the nonsupport items that may be paid for from the trust:

1. Transportation
2. TV expenses including telephone, computer and or cable equipment.
3. Cost of outings, and entertainment
4. Over the counter medications
5. Personal care products
6. Computers
7. Furniture and household items
8. Tuition for classes
9. Pet care and vet bill
10. Purchase of exempt assets
11. Medical care for which there are not public funds available
12. Private case management
13. The independent trustee can use trust funds to be an advocate for the disabled person and funds can be used for guardianship and conservatorship proceedings.

This list is to illustrate what can be done but does not limit the things that can be done to help the disabled adult child.

This summary is a general statement of the law and each client needs to go over their individual situation with a competent attorney experienced in this area of the law. 

James A. Wickre, Attorney, 816 West 8th Medford, Oregon. Telephone: 541 772-3371 

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