There are many challenges associated with ensuring a loved one with special needs receives the help and support he or she deserves throughout their life. Your family may have medical expenses – expected or unexpected – and will likely need to approach certain aspects of day-to-day activity differently.
TCU Trust Services, along with our partner, Members Trust Company, can provide best practices to support you and your family. We specialize in administering special needs trusts, which are explicitly designed for your loved one with special needs so they can get the most out of the services that are available to them.
How do I Know if I Need a Special Needs Trust?
Regardless of age, a family member with special needs is likely to require help for a long time, if not for the rest of their life. Because of this, anyone with special needs should have a trust, especially if you plan on giving them money or assets of value at some point.
For example, gifting your loved one more than $2,000 in assets – whether as a direct transfer or an inheritance – prohibits them from claiming the benefits of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid. If those assets are managed through a special needs trust, your loved one can avoid those financial pitfalls that could profoundly impact their quality of life.
What Exactly are the Detailed Benefits of a Special Needs Trust?
The benefits of a special needs trust run deep. It can:
- Help pay for services that would not usually be available through programs such as SSI or Medicaid. These services can include traveling, buying technology such as computers, providing higher quality medical or dental care, helping your loved one receive an excellent education, or providing them with quality rehabilitation services.
- Be an additional source of income, which is helpful when there is an additional requirement for special needs support.
- Hold an extensive range of assets. These can include but are not limited to, cash, stocks, real estate, or life insurance.
- Establish guidelines regarding how you want your loved one to live once you are no longer here. By doing this, you can ensure that they maintain a specific quality of life going forward.
Does the Trustee I Choose Make A Difference?
Given the complexity and longevity involved with administering a special needs trust, one of the most important decisions you can make is selecting a successor trustee. The rules surrounding eligibility for government programs are complex and ever-changing, and a mistake could compromise your loved one’s eligibility for vital government benefits and supplemental care.
As trustee, TCU Trust Services and Members Trust adhere to strict standards:
- Healthcare Assessments Inform the Investment Plan
They can work with a national nurse consulting firm to develop sustainable life care planning, quality of life assessment and third-party benefit analysis.
- Informed Distribution Process
They have implemented a system of checks and balances to ensure that every distribution is carefully considered.
- Financial Independence for Beneficiaries
They partner with True Link to offer customizable Visa prepaid cards to certain beneficiaries, which – as trustee – they can configure to allow only purchases that will preserve eligibility for government benefits, including SSI and Medicaid.
- Loved Ones Serving as Caregivers are Compensated
They also partner with a third-party company that serves as employer of record for caregiving loved ones, handling payroll processing, record-keeping, and tax reporting. This way, family members are assured of proper withholdings to build up essential pay history and qualify for government benefits.
Let TCU Trust Services and Members Trust Company Help You Help Your Loved Ones
TCU Trust Services and Members Trust strive to provide accessible support to all those who wish to ensure the safety and care of their loved ones with special needs. With our support, you can continue to provide as you have, but with the added security of government benefits, informed decision-making, and futureproof plans for your loved one.
TCU Trust Services and Members Trust Company can help you administer a trust expertly and efficiently to ensure your loved one with special needs receives care long after you are gone. After all, there’s a reason trust is their middle name.