Special needs trusts (SNTs) can play an important role in helping families plan and provide for the needs of their loved one with special needs. If they qualify for government benefits, you’ll want to ensure that their eligibility is preserved into the future, all while enhancing their lifestyle.
Trusts fall into two main categories: self-settled trusts sometimes referred to as a “First-Party Special Needs Trust” that the beneficiary creates for themselves with their own money, and third-party trusts that one person creates and funds for the benefit of someone else. A self-settled trust is appropriate for an individual who is disabled coming into an inheritance or receiving proceeds from a personal injury or medical malpractice claim; a third-party trust is best for a family member planning for a loved one with special needs, or one spouse planning for a spouse with a disability. Both categories have their own rules that affect the drafting, funding and administration and as such, require professional expertise on the topic.
Partnering with Rockland Trust's Special Needs Services team takes the complexity out of planning and gives you comfort in knowing the necessary steps have been taken to preserve both your family’s assets and anticipated government benefits. Our specialists offer not only expertise on the topic, but compassion and financial guidance to ensure your loved one is set up to live their best life.
Choosing a trustee is one of the most important parts of planning for an individual with special needs. The trustee of a special needs trust must be able to fulfill all of the normal functions of a trustee – accounting, investments, tax returns, and distributions – and also be able to meet the needs of the beneficiary. This includes an understanding of various public benefits programs, sensitivity to the needs of the beneficiary, and knowledge of services that may be available.
As an extension of Rockland Trusts’ comprehensive wealth management offering, our special needs service helps relieve the administrative burden and complexities of managing such a trust and provides peace of mind. Our team offers a tailored approach to meet each individual and family need. Services can include:
Special needs planning is complex and technical, and the laws that govern special needs trusts differ from state to state. Planning today for the future can ensure the highest quality of life for your family member. Rockland Trust's Special Needs Services team has direct experience helping with the planning needs of families of individuals with disabilities. In addition, the team has a thorough understanding of the income, gift, and estate tax consequences that must be considered when funding and administering a special needs trust and can help you properly plan for your loved ones future.