Special Needs Trust

Helping a Loved One Who Has Special Circumstances

Many members want to financially assist a loved one who has special needs but worry that any funds given to them could disqualify that loved one from receiving SSI, Medicaid, or other needs-based public assistance. They may see that their loved ones are already receiving the basic care they need using governmental benefits, but want to find a way to provide an additional resource to make their life more comfortable. A trust specifically designed for someone with special needs could help accomplish this goal.

A trust is a document typically prepared by an attorney, in which an individual or corporation can be appointed as trustee to manage specified property on behalf of a beneficiary. Transferring assets to a qualifying Special Needs Trust during your life or through your will, rather than outright to the beneficiary, allows the beneficiary to remain eligible for governmental benefits. Assets in a Special Needs Trust can be used as a resource for those items not covered by governmental benefits, such as therapies, special equipment, or other items, thus increasing the beneficiary's well-being and enhancing his or her quality of life.

It may be difficult for an individual as trustee of a Special Needs Trust to know which distributions could affect governmental benefits. To avoid this uncertainty, you may choose to name a corporate trustee. A corporate trustee has the experience and resources to effectively manage trust assets and understand permissible distributions from a Special Needs Trust. They will work with the beneficiary and his or her healthcare providers to understand the circumstances involved and administer the Special Needs Trust as a means to improve the beneficiary’s quality of life.

SECU Trust Services through Members Trust Company can provide corporate trustee services including the administration of Special Needs Trusts. For more information about trust services or estate planning, please contact your local branch office and ask to speak to a trust representative.

Trust Services offered through Members Trust Company, a federal thrift regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Trust products are not credit union deposits, are not insured by the NCUA or any other federal government agency, are not obligations of or guaranteed by the Credit Union, Members Trust Company or any affiliated entity, and involve investment risks, including the possible loss of principal. The material above is for educational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or tax advice regarding your situation. For legal or tax advice, please consult your attorney and/or tax professional.