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Pocatello Estate Planning and Special Needs Trusts

Pocatello Estate Planning and Special Needs Trusts

At Racine Law Office we know that Pocatello estate planning is designed to provide for each person’s individual needs regardless of their circumstances in life. But this is not all. We know that most people want to provide security and protection for the family and loved ones as well. Many times, a family will include a person who has special needs as a result of a disability, a handicap, or other mental or physical circumstances that create challenges. For over 70 years our team of Pocatello estate planning lawyers has worked with and assisted numerous clients and helped them create a custom estate plan for themselves and their family. We have worked with clients to provide for and meet the understandably unique needs of special needs family members. We know we can help you too.

The Racine Office team of Pocatello estate planning attorneys consists of partners Randy Budge and Lane Erickson and attorneys Nate Palmer and Dave Bagley. Our Attorneys have each earned the highest rankings possible based upon their experience, knowledge, abilities and ethics from the several notable legal rating services including AVVO, Martindale & Hubbell and Justia.

So what do you need to know about Pocatello estate planning and assisting individuals and family members who have special needs? Here are three things you should keep in mind about special needs trusts.

1. A Good Estate Plan Avoids Court Supervision

The first thing that you need to know is that a good estate plan will contain a Special Needs Trust that does not require any type of Court supervision for it to operate and be carried out. This is important because normally an individual with a disability must have a legal guardian named for them. Any property or money that is distributed to the individual with a handicap or disability must actually be given to the legal guardian. This person then holds the money or property for the benefit of the disabled person and they are required to provide an accounting at least annually to a Court about the use of the money or property.

On the other hand a special needs trust allows a trustee to be named. The trustee you choose will carry out your instructions as you describe them in the special needs trust. This allows you to avoid Court supervision because you can give to the trustee discretion and the ability to carry out the instructions you provided in the trust in a way that is both unfettered will not jeopardize the benefits given to the disabled person.

2. A Good Estate Plan Protects a Disabled Person

The second great thing about a special needs trust is that the specific goal is to provide protected benefits to a person who has a handicap or disability. These could be mental, they could be physical, or they could be emotional disabilities as well. In most instances it is a child who has special needs and will need to be cared for during their life. But this is not always the case. You estate plan could actually assist and name any individual you want, including yourself who might later in life develop a disability or a special need. The flexibility of a special needs trust could help any individual including siblings, spouses, parents, children or other individuals including yourself.

The definite reason for the creation of a special needs trust is to protect money or property for the disabled individual so that they can be used for their benefit when they need it. In many circumstances, the disabled individual will not ever be capable of taking care of and responsibly using the money or property themselves. The trust is created for the specific purpose of protecting and using those assets for the individual who has the special needs into the future. The goal with special needs trusts is long-term planning.

3. A Good Estate Plan Provides a Plan of Distribution

The final thing that you need to know about special needs trusts is that when not done correctly, the disabled individual can actually lose benefits and help that are already established. Persons with a handicap or disability are already often receiving specific benefits from a federal or state agency. If not careful, these benefits can easily be lost. Specifically, there are limitations to the amount of property or money that a disabled individual can personally own. Sometimes, if even a small distribution of property or money is made directly from your estate to a disabled person after you die, they may lose their benefits.

Special needs trusts work when they are created with the specific language necessary to restrict distributions of money or property to the individual who is disabled directly. By using certain protective language the trustee is able to make supplemental distributions to meet only specific needs of the disabled individual that are not being met through their benefits. In this way, the individual can receive both their benefits, and supplemental help from the trust, without losing their benefits. When setup correctly, a Special Needs Trust can truly provide supplemental benefits.

Enlist an Idaho Estate Planning Attorney to Help You

Our team of Pocatello estate planning lawyers can help you with any of your estate planning needs if your spouse has passed away. Whether you are seeking to create or review an estate plan for yourself or would like to help a loved one, we are available to discuss your options and answer your questions at an initial consultation. Call us toll free at 877.232.6101 or 208.232.6101 for a consultation. You can also email us directly at We will answer your questions and help you solve your Pocatello Estate Planning problems.

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