Planning for an Elder
(EITHER A FAMILY MEMBER OR YOURSELF)
There are three tough facts of aging that many of us forget (or choose to not acknowledge):
- Older age very often brings some form of declining health and some level of functional disability.
- Most Americans will need some form of long-term care during their later years.
- 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.)
- 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.