Memphis Special Needs Trusts Attorney
Detailed legal counsel for TN, MS and AR clients wishing to provide for loved ones
Do you have a loved one with special needs? If so, you know that your care and support is indispensable to them. You also know that you won’t always be around to help. As a Memphis special needs trust lawyer, I am familiar with these types of situations. My firm, Parham Estate Law, helps clients establish trusts to benefit special needs children and adults. The key to ensuring their welfare is advanced planning. You care enough to provide for them now. But now is also the time to prepare for their future.
What is a special needs trust?
Special needs trusts are legal instruments that allow grantors to reserve financial resources for individuals who have a disability or who are otherwise unable to care for themselves. Grantors are often parents, grandparents, older siblings or guardians of individuals unable to support themselves financially due to a physical or mental disability. Assets placed in a special needs trust are managed by a trustee named by the grantor and can be used for household expenses, medical care, personal care, and other necessities. If the trust beneficiary receives government benefits, such as Social Security payments, the income from the trust can be set at a level that does not disqualify the beneficiary.
What types of special needs trusts are available?
Special needs trusts can be established as either a first-party or a third-party trust. A first-party or self-settled trust is created by the beneficiary. This might occur if someone suffers catastrophic injuries in a car accident and uses the finds from a verdict or settlement to create a trust that can be tapped to provide for their future needs.
A third-party trust is typically created by a loved one, such as a parent looking to address the present and future financial needs for a disabled son or daughter. These trusts can vary greatly depending on the grantor’s situation and goals. If you are looking to establish a third-party special needs trust, I can advise you regarding creation of the instrument, funding, tax consequences and the disposition of assets after the beneficiary’s death.
Responsibilities of a special needs trust trustee
Another advantage of a special needs trust is that you can name a financial professional or another reliable person to manage and distribute trust assets in order to help the beneficiary. The trustee’s responsibilities include:
- Investing funds prudently where appropriate
- Accounting for assets
- Making disbursements in accordance with trust instructions
- Filing and paying taxes
- Coordinating various care services
A special needs trustee has a fiduciary responsibility to the beneficiary and might need to take action if care arrangements are inadequate. Selecting the right trustee is one of the most important decisions a grantor must make.
How an experienced special needs trust attorney can help
Special needs trusts are powerful tools, but they are complex legal instruments. It is important that these trusts be created properly to ensure that they operate correctly and achieve your goals for protecting your loved one.
I began my Memphis legal practice to help meet the unique estate planning needs of individuals and families throughout Tennessee. My firm can advise you on the ways a special needs trust can assist your loved one, and I will walk you through the various options. You can also count on me for knowledgeable guidance if you have questions or require a modification of the trust due to unforeseen circumstances.
Contact a knowledgeable and concerned lawyer for a special needs trust
Parham Estate Law with offices in Memphis and Jackson provides comprehensive counsel on special needs trusts to Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas clients. To learn about these legal instruments and your options, please call 901-602-3361 or contact me online.