In Perspectives

Are you caring for someone that was born with a disability, or a person that has been injured in an accident and requires some extra care? Is there someone in your life that will need ongoing assistance that you would like to help provide for? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, a supplemental needs trust, sometimes referred to as a special needs trust, may be right for you and your loved one.

What is a Supplemental Needs Trust?

A Supplemental Needs Trust is a document that forms a legal entity to hold assets to be used for a person’s care (the “beneficiary”). A Supplemental Needs Trust is created for two primary purposes: (1) Protect the beneficiary’s eligibility for means-tested public programs (i.e. Medicaid or SSI), and/or (2) Provide for the financial care and oversight for the beneficiary after his or her primary caregiver is no longer able to provide for him or her.

How is a Supplemental Needs Trust different from other types of trusts?

If the primary purpose of the Supplemental Needs Trust is to preserve eligibility for government benefits for the beneficiary, the Supplemental Needs Trust must use very specific language to ensure assets held by it are not considered part of the beneficiary’s personal assets. If this specific language is not used, the assets in the Supplemental Needs Trust may disqualify the beneficiary for certain government benefits (e.g. Medicaid, SSI). An attorney that knows and understands the specific requirements should draft a Supplemental Needs Trust – Legacy Trust can provide you with recommendations if needed.

If the primary purpose is to provide for the support, care, and maintenance of the beneficiary, without regard to benefits eligibility, then the language can be directed towards just those purposes. Where most trusts leave the assets to beneficiaries with little to no restriction on the use, a Supplemental Needs Trust can direct the trustee to use the assets for specific purposes. For example, the Supplemental Needs Trust can instruct the trustee to use the assets to provide for housing for the beneficiary, or to hire individuals to drive the person to daily appointments or activities, to hire someone to attend an IEP and be an advocate for the beneficiary, or provide in-home assistance. Legacy Trust can put you or your loved one in contact with people who can help with these and many other services.

How to setup a Supplemental Needs Trust

Anyone that wants to provide for a person’s future care can establish a Supplemental Needs Trust. Most commonly it is the parent(s) or guardian(s) of the person to be benefitted, but that is not always the case. Many times other family members create a Supplemental Needs Trust, or state in their estate planning documents that one is to be created up on their death to benefit a sibling, niece/nephew, or grandchild. Funding can be from cash on hand, an annuity, a retirement account, life insurance, or a variety of other options. If you are interested in establishing a Supplemental Needs Trust, contact Legacy Trust to find out how or discuss options.

If you have questions about any of this, we invite you to contact our office today for more information. A Legacy Trust team member can talk to you more about what we do and how we might be able to help you with a Supplemental Needs Trust, a regular trust, asset management, or retirement assets.

Legacy Trust and Your Right to Financial Privacy

At Legacy Trust we have established policies and practices that respect the financial privacy of all individuals who use our trust company. We believe it is critical to comply with the laws and regulations designed to secure your financial privacy. Your relationship with us as our client is very important to us, and we want you to understand our policies and practices about handling your information.

This Policy applies to you – This Policy applies to our relationships with individual clients who inquire about or obtain products or services from us for personal, family and household purposes.

Strict security measures – We take the security of information very seriously. We have established security standards and procedures to prevent access to client information. We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to guard client information.

Limited employee access – We have established procedures to limit employee access to information to only those employees with a business reason for accessing such information. We educate our employees about the importance of confidentiality and client privacy. We take appropriate disciplinary measures to enforce employee responsibilities regarding client information.

Why we collect information – We collect information about you to:

  • accurately identify you;
  • protect and administer your records, accounts and funds;
  • help us design or improve our products and services;
  • understand your financial needs;
  • save you time when you apply for new products and services; offer you quality products and services; and comply with certain laws and regulations;

We collect information – We collect and maintain your personal information so that we can provide investment management and other services to you. The types and categories of information that we collect and maintain about you include:

  • Information we receive from you to open an account or provide investment advice or other services to you (such as your home address, social security number, telephone, financial information and investment objectives).
  • Information that we generate to service your account or from our transactions with you (such as account statements and other financial information).
  • Information on your transactions with nonaffiliated third parties.

We have established procedures so that the financial information we collect is accurate, current and complete. We are committed to work with you to promptly correct any inaccurate information.

Our selective sharing of information – In order for us to provide investment management and other services to you, we do disclose your personal information in very limited instances, which include:

  • Disclosures to nonaffiliated companies as permitted by law, including those who help us service your account (such as providing account information to brokers and custodians).
  • Other limited disclosures as permitted by law, for example, required reports to government entities.

We do not share your information with third parties for marketing purposes. We do not sell your information.

Former clients – If you end your relationship with us, we will continue to adhere to the privacy policies and practices described in this notice.

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USA PATRIOT Act

Important Information About Procedures For Opening A New Account

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify and record information that identifies each person who opens an account.

What this means for you: When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause; however, federal law prohibits us from waiving these requirements.

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