In a recent blog post we discussed how disabled persons can protect their government benefits by putting their own assets into a First Party Supplemental Needs Trust. But what if you are disabled and a friend or family member wants to help provide for your care without endangering your Medicaid or SSI benefits?
The answer here is usually a Third Party Supplemental Needs Trust. The person providing the assets would put them directly into the trust, rather than transferring them to the disabled person directly. The beneficiary’s government benefits are not impacted by a properly drafted Third Party Supplemental Needs Trust. With this type of trust, there is no age limit for the beneficiary, and there is no “pay back” provision to Medicaid. The grantor of the trust is free to name contingent beneficiaries, who would benefit after the disabled person has passed on.
Any person who wants to assist you financially can create this type of trust while he or she is alive, or establish the trust under their Will. If the creator of the trust is your spouse, he or she must set it up in a Will. As with other types of trusts, a Third Party Supplemental Needs Trust offers protection against future creditors and lawsuits in addition to helping to preserve Medicaid benefits.
As with any trust, it is best to work with an experienced attorney when setting up your Third Party Supplemental Needs Trust. Lamson & Cutner has years of experience helping our clients with these trusts, and we are here to help you too. Give our office a call at: (212) 447-8690.