How Do I Set Up a Special Needs Trust?

  • Aug 12, 2022

Trying to accommodate the needs of someone with special needs usually comes at the hands of public assistance and private offerings. There are times, however, when family members want to leave behind a trust for these individuals that will not impact their public assistance but give them something extra to help with large expenses. In the past, these special needs trusts purchase homes, vehicles, and vacations.

Setting up a special needs trust must be done according to special needs law. To make sure its completion, the help of a New Jersey special needs lawyer can help you avoid minimal obstacles with your trust. With the help of the Falcon Law Group, you can understand special needs law in detail and access leading special needs attorneys in NJ.

Who are Involved?

A special needs trust is a means to leave a gift, settlement or other types of funding to someone classified legally as someone with special needs.

For the trust process to continue, these individuals are essential and required for the planning. NJ law does not require a corporate trustee for an SNT. Any individual can serve alone. However, we often recommend a corporate trustee, alone, or as a co-trustee with an individual, or as a successor to an individual trustee. Since administering an SNT is complex (investments, allowable distributions, tax matters) corporate expertise can be very valuable. In addition, having a financial institution as a co-trustee with a family member takes some of the decision-making pressure from the individual trustee.

How Much Should I Put in Trust According to Special Needs Law?

The purpose of the special needs trust is to provide funding for this individual that is not available through public or private programs. It is also not meant to prevent their eligibility for these programs because of potential trust value. This is a safe option to house any funding or gifts this individual receives and keep it secure.

Depending on the special needs individual plans to use these funds, the amount you can put in the trust can vary.  Adding money to the trust to help with a home purchase, vehicle, or vacation for that special needs individual.

How to Set Up a Special Needs  Trust

When setting up the trust, the best course of action is to follow the steps below.

  1. Contact a New Jersey special needs lawyer and schedule a consultation.
  2. All parties who are involved with the trust need to meet and establish the conditions around the trust.
  3. Complete all necessary documentation required for the trust.
  4. Begin adding funds to the trust for the outlined needs.

special needs trust application with clipboard and notepadWhile it is possible to try and set up a special needs trust on your own, there are a lot of laws and complex requirements surrounding these trusts. To make sure you can navigate this process easily and still maintain access to Medicaid and other public assistance, you need the help of special needs attorneys in NJ.

When setting up the special needs trust, you must know what documentation and forms you must complete. Keep in mind that the trust can only be created with a listed guardian such as a parent, grandparent, or established by the government. According to New Jersey law, the individual must have the eligibility to establish the trust.

Understanding legal jargon and ensuring that the trust you are creating is appropriate for the needs of your special needs family member can be time-consuming and confusing. Those who have not gone through the process before may find that they make some errors along the way and revoke funding that their family member was receiving.

A lawyer can go through this process based on your goals and help you appropriately set up the special needs trust. You can access leading special needs attorneys in NJ at the Falcon Law Group. Contact us today for a consultation, and let us help you get started on your trust.

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