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Administration of special needs trust, purchases for beneficiary

Discussion in 'Elder Law, Medicaid & Disability' started by HarriedParent, Nov 7, 2019 at 3:26 PM.

  1. HarriedParent

    HarriedParent Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Oregon
    We have created a Special Needs Trust for our daughter under our Revocable Living Trust. When it is funded on my wife's death, I will be the Trustee. I know there are limits to how/what I can pay for to her benefit without impacting her SSI or ISM payments, but how can I supply her with small legal items like a haircut, toiletries, household supplies, or bus passes? Some advisors say cash, small pre-paid debit or gift cards are not allowed. How can I do this? Why can't I supplement her food or pay her electricity bill?
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    You should look for a book that explains what you can and can't do with special needs trusts. Nolo puts out one, and I'm sure others do as well.
     
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    A special needs trust, also known in some jurisdictions as a supplemental needs trust, is a specialized trust that allows A DISABLED PERSON to enjoy the use of property that is held in the trust for his or her benefit.

    A "special needs trust" allows the beneficiary to receive "certain" essential needs-based government assistance.

    I am a lawyer.
    I sued on behalf of my wife for the benefit of our SINGLE, adult son (and our two granddaughters) wen our son was struck by a drunk driver, and later suffered a "noxious" brain injury because of a surgical procedure. The procedure left our son in a coma for 11 years.

    The proceeds of the lawsuit were immediately deposited in a bank account, held in a special needs trust, administered by a large "bank & trust", with my wife as his legal guardian. The account was audited annually by an independent CPA firm, and any payments had to be authorized by the bank, requested by my wife.

    She did the same thing for our two granddaughters, with the restriction the funds were only to used for their college education. If any funds were left over, the funds could only be released upon their 25th birthday, or upon graduation from college with a four year degree.



    You need to ask all of those questions to your lawyer, the institution who holds the funds, or the CPA who audits the account. You could also ask the lawyer who oversaw the creation of the trust.

    Each state has different rules as to how things must be done.
    That is why you need to ask your lawyer first.



    That is why you must ask your lawyer.
    I'm a Texas lawyer, and licensed in other states.
    Oregon is NOT one of the other states.
     
  4. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    What do you mean when you say the special needs trust ("SNT") was "created . . . under" the revocable living trust ("RLT")?

    And...if you die before your wife, will she be the trustee? By the way, I assume we're only talking about the SNT (although I suspect the same will be true about the RLT also). Correct?

    Specifics matter, and you've provided none, so all anyone can intelligently tell you is that you should confer with the lawyer who helped you establish the trusts (or, if you did them yourselves, a local estate planning attorney).

    I don't understand this question (it sounds like you're asking how you give cash to your daughter), but what sorts of "advisors" are you talking about?

    Who says you can't?
     
  5. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Disbursements from the special needs trust for food or shelter may affect SSI benefits.
     
    army judge likes this.
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    By hook or crook, gotta scrounge each and every penny available.

    People have become addicted to the dole.

    There was a time that people would rather do without than take handouts or beg for a bone.
     
  7. HarriedParent

    HarriedParent Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My wife and I are both alive, but she has cancer so we created a Revocable Living Trust, using an estate planning lawyer. On her death, the trust will be irrevocable, and a SNT will be created for our adult, disabled daughter, who is now on SSI and living in subsidized housing. I will be the trustee, but if I die first, my wife will be trustee, and when we are both gone a commercial trust company will take over.

    I'm not asking how to give cash or a gift card to my daughter. I understand that is not allowed and will jeopardized her benefits or her eligibility. I am only asking is there an established, legal way to help pay for these kinds of small incidentals? I am 250 miles away, and cannot run to the store each time she needs something.

    The question about food and electricity are two of 10 items that SSA considers In-kind Support and Maintenance (ISM) that will reduce her benefits. The list is on the website at www.elderneedslaw.com. How could I give her things like Ensure, which she needs?
     
  8. HarriedParent

    HarriedParent Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am highly offended by this comment, you jerk. I realize I cannot leave my disabled daughter, who cannot work, enough money to last her lifetime. As there is a legal way to supplement the miserable existence $700/month SSI can provide for her, we have done so. Creating this SNT is a way to do that. I am not addicted to the dole, nor am I begging. Kindly take your advice elsewhere. You are excused from this discussion.
     
  9. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.
    Proverbs 28:1 KJV

    I'll overlook this unprovoked verbal attack.

    I won't overlook any others.
     
  10. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I'm not sure that you can. I've spent the last 20 minutes googling SSA information to find a definition of food that could yield exceptions to ISM. Unfortunately, other than a reference to basic needs, I found none. Ensure is a nutritional supplement and is likely to be considered food for ISM calculations.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019 at 10:43 PM
  11. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Unprovoked?

    You damned well insulted the guy by implying he was cheating the government.

    Trust me, nobody wants to read that kind of stuff from you. It's tiresome, annoying, and makes you appear to be an idiot.

    It's about time somebody called you out about it. I would have done it privately but you don't appear to allow conversations.

    If you don't have anything constructive to say, don't say anything.
     
    stealthy1 and zddoodah like this.
  12. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Active Member

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    Unprovoked, you say? What you said was:

    That is pretty clearly an attack on the OP suggesting that taking government benefits that a person qualifies to receive is some great moral offense. While you are entitled to your opinion, my view is that opinions that attack others should not be expressed on these forums. My view is that we should address the legal issues raised by the people who post here and keep our moral judgments to ourselves. But of course I don't make the rules so I can't control what you do. In any event, if you do attack others you should not be surprised to get push back from it.
     
    zddoodah likes this.
  13. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Thank you, boss, may I have another?

    I have no concerns about what you do or say.

    Type anything you desire to type.
     
  14. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You can assume, think, believe anything you wish.

    I don't control you.

    Thanks for sharing.
     
  15. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Typical and expected responses from Army Judge.
     
  16. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Amen. Time for @Michael Wechsler to reconsider giving this guy "super moderator" privileges.
     

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