How Can A Trust Help- Government Benefits
The trust allows the parents to express their desires. I see many trusts which report to be special needs trusts and they will be about a paragraph long. They will say some of the magical language that Medicaid is looking for and from that we can create a valid special needs trust, I would argue that the paragraph in and of itself is not a special needs trust, all it’s doing is telling somebody “you are authorized to create a special needs trust at some point in the future.” Don’t you want to have a way to express what you hope happens with your child, what you want to see your resources provide for your child? A lot of lawyers get stuck on this one, protecting eligibility for government benefits. Usually, with the families that I work with, this is secondary. Their primary goal is to make sure that their children are taken care of, that their child has a safe comfortable place to live that reasonably allows them to do things that they are able to do, that they are involved with family, involved in the community and friends. This protection of eligibility of government benefits, it’s just one component of it. Yeah, we want to do that because that’s going to allow the resources to stretch further. For many situations, Medicaid is the only health insurance that they can get if you are not around, right now, they might be eligible for insurance under your plan, but if you weren’t around right now there is no public option. As far as I understand under the new health care bill, there is no public option. Even if there was a public option, there’s got to be a way to pay for it. That’s where a special needs trust, if we ever do get a public option, a special needs trust can pay those premiums. A public option is not free, I think a lot of people are thinking, if there’s a public option, it’s free for everybody. That’s not what they’re talking about, they’re just talking about insurance companies can’t deny your coverage, which is what they can do now. These are things that can be accomplished in a special needs trust. Often times when I’m shown other special needs trusts or provisions in a will for a special needs trust, it doesn’t accomplish any of that. All that it addresses is this first one right here, preserving eligibility for government benefits, which is important but it’s not the only reason, it’s not the only thing that needs to be paid attention to.
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