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San Antonio Special Needs Trust Attorney

Boerne trust lawyer for first-party and third-party special needs trusts

Bexar County Trusts Lawyer Helping Families Provide for Loved Ones With Special Needs

During the estate planning process, a person will usually want to take steps to determine how they can best provide for their family members or other loved ones. This can be a primary concern for those who have family members with special needs. A person who has a physical or mental disability may be unable to fully provide for their own needs, so family members may wish to provide them with assistance. However, when doing so, it is important to follow the correct procedures to ensure that the person will still be able to receive government benefits. A special needs trust is often the best solution in these cases.

By understanding the requirements that will need to be followed when creating trusts or other estate planning documents, families can make sure they are taking the right steps to provide for loved ones with special needs. Geoff Mayfield, Attorney at Law works with families to ensure they follow the correct procedures in these cases. With more than 15 years of experience in estate planning and other practice areas, he provides families with legal guidance to help them create comprehensive estate plans that will meet their needs.

What Is a Special Needs Trust?

People with disabilities may be able to receive different forms of public aid that will provide for their ongoing needs. However, to qualify for these benefits, a person will usually need to have limited income and financial resources. If a family member gifts a person with money or other assets, this may make them ineligible for public benefits such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) through Social Security. To ensure that a person will be able to receive public aid, family members can create a special needs trust.

As with other types of trusts, assets transferred to a special needs trust will be owned by the trust itself. Because the assets in a trust will not be counted among the financial resources that are available to a person with special needs, they will not be considered when determining whether the person is eligible for public benefits.

The terms of a special needs trust can state that assets will be used for specific purposes. Since public benefits are meant to provide for certain needs, such as food and housing costs, assets in a special needs trust may be used for other purposes, such as:

  • Household items, including furniture, appliances, computers, televisions, or other electronic devices
  • Clothing
  • Medical care not covered by government programs, including assistive equipment or devices
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Personal services, such as housekeeping, meal preparation, and compensation for family members who provide medical care
  • Other household expenses, such as home security systems or landscaping
  • A vehicle used to transport the person with special needs, as well as other transportation costs, such as bus or train fare
  • Educational costs, including tuition, tutoring, books, or other supplies
  • Internet, cell phone, and cable television service
  • Pets, pet supplies, and veterinary care
  • Entertainment expenses, including vacations or tickets to concerts or sporting events

A person may also be able to set up a first-party special needs trust on their own behalf. This may be an option in cases where a person receives an inheritance or is awarded damages in a personal injury lawsuit. A person will need to meet certain requirements to create this type of trust, and after the person's death, the trust may be required to reimburse government programs for any benefits that the person received.

Contact a San Antonio Special Needs Trusts Lawyer

If you wish to provide for a loved one who has special needs, Geoff Mayfield can help you understand your options. He will help you create a special needs trust while also advising you of the tools to include in a comprehensive estate plan. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today at 210-535-0870. We assist with special needs trusts and other estate planning issues in Guadalupe County, Boerne, Bexar County, Frio County, Kerrville, Wilson County, Kendall County, Laredo, New Braunfels, Blanco County, Hondo, Seguin, Medina County, Comal County, San Marcos, Atascosa County, San Antonio, and Del Rio.

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