Pooled Special Needs Trust
If you are the primary caretaker of an incapacitated family member, you may worry about what will happen when you are no longer there to support them. As you probably know, leaving assets directly to an incapacitated person may disqualify them from government benefits like Medicaid and SSI.
Special needs trusts (SNTs) provide a common legal solution to these situations. If you need dependable and cost-efficient trust management, a pooled special needs trust may be the right choice for you. Call Bassett Murray Law Group at (734) 930-9200 for reliable legal help with setting up a pooled SNT in Ann Arbor, MI.
How a Pooled Special Needs Trust Works
A pooled SNT is a legal entity that holds and manages assets. Once assets pass into a pooled special needs trust, they become trust property and no longer count toward Medicaid or SSI thresholds.
As an example of how this works, let’s assume that a disabled individual receives a personal injury settlement in a medical malpractice case. If the money passes directly into their bank account, the individual may become ineligible for Medicaid and have to pay for medical expenses out of pocket. However, suppose the individual’s family places the settlement in a pooled SNT that only distributes funds through an independent trustee. In that case, the money won’t count as an available asset for Medicaid and Social Security purposes.
Unlike individual trusts, pooled trusts (also called group trusts) work under nonprofit organizations that pool and invest assets together. The organization provides a professional trustee, which is convenient for clients seeking a hassle-free and affordable trust management option.
Requirements for Pooled Special Needs Trusts in Michigan
Pooled SNTs in Michigan must follow these requirements:
- The beneficiary must be a disabled person per Social Security’s definition
- The special needs trust must be irrevocable if the trust assets come from the disabled beneficiary
- The trust can only distribute assets for the beneficiary’s eligible needs
- An independent trustee must oversee all trust asset distribution
- A nonprofit organization must run the pooled trust, working closely with a reliable financial institution
Upon the beneficiary’s death, any residual assets may either pass into the nonprofit’s ownership or reimburse Medicaid for any benefits the disabled individual had used during their lifetime.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Set Up a Pooled Special Needs Trust?
An experienced trust planning lawyer from Bassett Murray Law Group can:
- Advise you on choosing the right organization for your pooled special needs trust
- Check that trust management complies with requirements for pooled SNTs in Michigan
- Make sure that fund distribution through the trust preserves your loved one’s eligibility for public benefits
Bassett Murray Law Group, PLLC: Helping You Protect Your Most Vulnerable Family Members
At Bassett Murray Law Group, PLLC, we provide trusted legal counsel and comprehensive estate planning for families with disabled loved ones. We can help you set up a pooled special needs trust that shields your family member’s finances, secures their future, and complies with all Michigan special needs trust laws.