Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Clients receiving settlements must consider the effect these incoming monies may have on their Medicaid, Medicare, Supplemental Security Income, or Social Security Disability Income. It falls to their attorney to warn these clients of the potential loss of certain benefits. Failure to do so can result in a malpractice claim. Stand-alone special needs trusts (SNTs) and pooled special needs trusts (PSNTs) may be used to preserve these benefits. SNTs may utilize a family or corporate trustee. The drawback to these options is that corporate trustees can be expensive, and family trustees can be incompetent. PSNTs are run by a non-profit organization that usually has extensive experience managing assets in special needs trusts. Because assets are pooled, PSNTs tend to have better investment opportunities along with lower fees.
See Joanne Marcus & Karen E. Dunivan, How the Elder Law Attorney Can Help the Personal Injury Attorney, NAELA News, 2017.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.