Special Needs Planning Attorney

Morgan & Associates Attorneys at Law

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Special Needs Planning Attorney

Special Needs Planning For Utah Residents


For the parent of a child with special needs, there is often a lot of uncertainty regarding what will happen after the primary caregiver is no longer able to provide car. A Utah Special Need Trust Plan  can take the worry out of the future and replace it with confidence that loved ones will be provided for. We recognize that every client has unique needs; we will work with each client to create a customized plan specific to them.

What Benefit Programs Are Available For My Child?

The two major governmental programs for adults with disabilities are Supplemental Social Income (SSI) and Utah Medicaid. SSI is a federal program that provides a monthly income (usually in the ballpark of $750) to adults with disabilities who have not worked enough to qualify for Social Security. Utah Medicaid is a State agency that provides medical insurance to those who meet the income and asset requirements. If a person qualifies for SSI they will automatically qualify for Utah Medicaid. However, a person may qualify for Utah Medicaid but not SSI.

Both programs limit a person’s assets to $2,000 (subject to some really cool exceptions, so please read on!). Before the age of 18 the government bases eligibility on the parent’s assets, after age 18 only the adult with disability’s assets are taken into consideration.

A Utah Special Needs Trust Plan Can Help

Problems arise if a parent tries to leave money for a child with special needs. An outright inheritance often pushes a child’s assets over the $2,000 asset limit resulting in a loss of benefits until all of the surplus funds are spent down. A Utah Special Needs Trust can help a person with special needs keep government benefits without having to waste donated funds. The trust works by assigning a trustee to keep the funds for the child’s benefit without actually giving the child direct access to the funds. If the proper procedure is followed, the government will not include funds left in trust in the beneficiary child’s personal assets. Because the child never technically receives the funds, the parent or other trustmaker can decide who gets the remaining funds should the child with special needs pass away before all of the money in the trust is spent.

There are strict rules governing Utah Special Needs Trusts, the most important is that trust funds cannot be used to pay for food or shelter. Additionally, the trust cannot accept funds from the beneficiary and cannot give funds directly to the beneficiary. For example, if the beneficiary wanted a new television, the Trustee would have to purchase the television and deliver it to the beneficiary rather than give the beneficiary the funds to purchase the item directly. Failure to follow these rules can result in the trust funds being deemed part of the beneficiary’s asset total.

A Utah ABLE Account Adds Flexibility

A UTAH ABLE ACCOUNT can bypass some of the strict rules governing a Utah Special Needs Trust. An ABLE ACCOUNT is an account specifically allowed by the federal government to hold up $100,000 totally exempt from the $2,000 asset limit imposed by SSI and Utah Medicaid. In order to qualify for a Utah ABLE Account, the account holder must have a qualifying disability under the Social Security Administration guidelines. The disability must have begun prior to the age of 26. The ABLE Account is free to set up and very inexpensive to maintain (under $50 per year).

Funds in an ABLE Account belong to the child with special needs. The account can receive up to $15,000 annually. So long as the funds are used for goods or services related to the account holder’s disability they are not included in the $2,000 asset total. Importantly, a Utah ABLE Account can be used to pay for things a Utah Special Needs Trust cannot such as housing costs. The only catch is that when the account holder dies, the government gets access to the remaining funds in the account.

A UTAH SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST can contribute to a Utah ABLE ACCOUNT without triggering any penalty. In the ideal scenario, the Utah Special Needs Trust holds the bulk of the funds and distributes only what is needed into the ABLE Account. This means that the plan will provide all of the flexibility of the ABLE Account, especially being able to pay for housing and other costs a Utah Special Needs is forbidden to cover, but will also benefit from the Utah Special Needs Trust keeping the remaining funds out of Government hands after a Utah Special Needs Trust beneficiary dies.

Special Needs Planning Should Include a Long Term Care Plan

In addition to the legal documents required, a Special Needs Trust Plan should include a long term care plan. A long term care plan will help ensure the person(s) who inherit responsibility for your child with special needs will be prepared to help him/her grow and develop safely and securely. This plan should include detailed information on the beneficiary’s dietary, medical, social, religious, transportation, athletic and other needs. Proper planning can ease pain and uncertainty for those with special needs at the passing or incapacity of a parent.

Learn More About Special Needs Planning Today: 801-874-5644. 

 

 

Charlotte Stock
Charlotte Stock
17:23 01 Feb 19
Christopher Morgan listens closely and is very knowledgeable about Utah law concerning estate planning, health care directives, and wills. I was amazed at his ability to give me the help and advice I needed to be completely satisfied and at peace with every document he made for me. He certainly has my vote of confidence. I highly recommend him to everyone. Charlotte Stockread more
Janelle Wakley
Janelle Wakley
22:23 25 Jan 19
Chris was very helpful when my husband and I had questions about our Medicaid application. He is friendly and professional.read more
Wolfiere Labs
Wolfiere Labs
20:38 25 Jan 19
JoAnna Hall
JoAnna Hall
17:14 21 Dec 18
If you're looking to get your estate planning, trust in order, Chris is the guy!! He is so thorough and explained everything in terms we understand and knows what he is doing! Very pleasant experience and we HIGHLY recommend him! Thanks Chris!read more
Joe Clements
Joe Clements
19:25 05 Dec 18
We needed help with making a Will and Trust. Chris got us in quickly and produced our documents at a super affordable cost! Highly recommend!!read more
Ben Tyler
Ben Tyler
05:57 02 Nov 18
My wife and I hired Chris Morgan to help us with our Estate Planning documents and could not have been more pleased! Chris was responsive to our every need, flexible in his scheduling, patient and clear in educating, sensitive to our interests, and produced a product which far exceeded expectations. But this really didn't surprise me, considering the raving reviews he's received from his clients. With binder of completed documents in hand, my head will rest more comfortably on my pillow tonight. Thank you, Chris, for making our most important priorities your own. We look forward to receiving our first Christmas card :).read more
Bonnie Hill
Bonnie Hill
21:32 31 Jul 18
Chris was really great to work with! On our first meeting he was very knowledgeable and funny and easy to talk to! He explained things and addressed all our concerns and questions. He made things fun and eased any tensions. He seems honest and fair. The best part is that he was willing to come to our home for the meeting. He was easy to work with schedule wise as well. I would definitely recommend Chrisread more