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Heritage Tree LogoWhat to Know About Estate Planning for Loved Ones with Special Needs

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It is important that you create an estate plan that accommodates your loved one with special needs. Do not wait to retain the services of a dedicated Pennsylvania estate planning attorney today to discuss the specifics of your circumstances and learn more about how we can best help you.

Who would benefit from a special needs trust in Pennsylvania?

Many people may need to draft a special needs estate plan. This includes those who cannot live independently because they have certain conditions, such as autism or Down Syndrome. Other individuals who may need this plan can include those with a progressively debilitating disease, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or ALS.

Contact our firm today if you have questions about special needs trusts. Our firm is committed to ensuring that you and your loved one’s futures are protected.

What are the different types of special needs trusts in Pennsylvania?

There are three main types of trusts that can be made for a loved one with special needs. They include the following:

  • First-Party Special Needs Trusts: These trusts can only be created by a parent, grandparent, or legal guardian, and may only be funded by the beneficiary’s funds. For eligibility, the beneficiary has to be under the age of 65. Notably, these types of trusts are irrevocable. Generally, first-party special needs trusts are created when a beneficiary is to receive or inherit funds through a lawsuit or settlement.
  • Third-Party Special Needs Trusts: These trusts are created by another person for a beneficiary. Ordinarily, these trusts are funded through life insurance, and they may start either during a lifetime or at the time of death. Also, family members may contribute gifts toward these trusts.
  • Pooled Account Trusts: This is established by a non-profit organization for the benefit of a disabled person and his or her family. The non-profit organization pools, manages, and invests the funds and controls payments. This kind of account is used to supplement expenses other than basic needs provided for by government benefits.
  • Hybrid Special Needs Trust: These refer to where the person creating the trust is also the person receiving the funds in the trust and will be receiving government benefits for their support for the remainder of their lives.

If you have questions or concerns about the various trust options, do not hesitate to reach out to our firm today to discuss the specifics of your case with our dedicated legal team.


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