ALL PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES – LIFELONG OR RELATED TO ILLNESS, INJURY, OR AGE - SHOULD HAVE THE MEANS TO LIVE HEALTHY AND WELL

Planning for an Elder

(EITHER A FAMILY MEMBER OR YOURSELF)

Planning for an Elder

There are three tough facts of aging that many of us forget (or choose to not acknowledge):

  1. Older age very often brings some form of declining health and some level of functional disability.
  2. Most Americans will need some form of long-term care during their later years.
  3. Long-term nursing home care is not covered by Medicare. It is covered by Medicaid—but only if you have financial assets below a set level (currently $2,000).

But here’s a good fact to remember—

A special needs trust (SNT) can enable someone who is past age 65 and has an acquired or life-long disability to have assets set aside for their use . . . while remaining eligible for Medicaid and other public benefit programs. The assets in a SNT can then be used to purchase goods and services that enrich their life.

How does someone create a SNT? Whether the trust is for yourself or for a member of your family, there are two options:

Hire a private attorney specializing in elder law to develop an individual SNT.

Work with a non-profit sponsor of a pooled special needs trust. (It is called “pooled because all beneficiaries’ separate accounts are invested together—reducing administrative costs and overhead for each.)

Which approach—individual or pooled SNT—is best for your family? The answer probably rests in comparing the answers to these seven questions for each kind of trust:

  • How much will it cost at the outset to create the SNT?
  • What are the annual costs for managing the trust?
  • Who will provide professional investment services for the trust’s assets?
  • What is the minimum amount required to fund the trust?
  • Do you want a professional trustee to assume responsibility for the trust or do you prefer that friend or family member serve as a trustee? Will there be a social worker or other experienced professional to provide guidance on how to use the funds (and how the funds may not legally be used)?
  • Who will assist the trust’s beneficiary in identifying needed services and paying the bills?

PLAN offers a pooled SNT; and we are uniquely qualified to serve elders:

We have decades of experience; we’re enduring and stable.

We have deep knowledge and expertise in serving as trustee.

Our Service Coordinators—who are all licensed social workers—provide caring, personalized assistance to each beneficiary.