Trusts

Trusts are a legal tool often used to pass wealth to a spouse or to the next generation, usually with rules attached. A trust is a formal legal relationship where a property owner (the Settlor or Grantor) conveys legal title to a third party (the Trustee) who then holds or uses trust property for the benefit of a person (the Beneficiary). Most trusts are written, but a trust can be established orally or can arise by operation of law.

Not everyone needs a trust, but they can be game changers when used for the right reasons. Here are a few reasons to consider using a trust: (1) controlling how your property is used by beneficiaries; (2) privacy and avoiding probate; (3) tax planning or public benefits planning; (4) disability and special needs planning; and (5) creditor protection. Trusts can also be used to avoid ancillary probate estates if you own real property in another State.

If you decide to use a trust, be certain you understand what your trust is supposed to accomplish. Knowing the purpose of the trust will help you communicate your goals with others and will give your lawyer the ability to determine whether you really need a trust, or whether some other, less complicated, legal tool would be a better fit. If the right tool for the job is a trust, then decisions need to be made regarding whether to establish it during your lifetime (a Living or inter vivos trust), or at death (a testamentary trust). Should the trust be revocable or irrevocable? Should all of your property be placed in the trust, or should you funds it with a portion of your estate? Who will serve as trustee? What rules should be included in your trust agreement regarding how trust property is used? If someone tries to sell you a trust without helping you answer these questions, then you’ve found a hammer salesman – someone who thinks every problem looks like a nail.

Introduction to Trusts for Elders and Special Needs Beneficiaries
Introduction to Trusts
Why Protect Assets?
What is Supplemental Security Income?
What is Medicaid?
Why use a Special Needs Trust?
What can a Special Needs Trust pay for?

Trust Formation and Structure
Creating the Trust
Trust Instrument and Essential Terms
The Trustee
Beneficiaries (of Trusts)
Purpose (of the Trust)
Revocation, Modification, Termination
Spendthrift Provisions
Discretion and Distribution Standards
Construction (Construing the Trust)

Funding the Trust
Funding, Generally
Sources of Funding

Trust Administration
Administration, generally
Administration and Investments
Investment Decision-making process
Income and Principal
Compensation
Accountings
Bond
Declaratory Judgment
Distributions, generally
Trust Ownership of a home
Distributions to family members

Medicaid Trust Rules
Trust Rules, generally
Self-Settled Trusts, generally
Third Party Trusts, generally
Income Only Trusts
Special Needs Trusts
Pooled Trusts
Sole Benefit Trusts
Funding Issues Associated with Special Needs Trusts
Distributions from Special Needs Trusts
SNT Accounting

Eligibility for Veteran’s Aid and Attendance
VA Aid and Attendance, generally
Treatment of Trusts
Revocable Trusts
Irrevocable Trusts

Tax Issues

Resources:

BLOG POSTS

Elder Law and Special Needs Law News Roundup – 6-17-2022

We regularly post links to news articles and other resources that related to Elder Law and Special Needs Law. We focus on general news, health and healthcare news, special needs news, events, government sources, financial and retirement news and legal news. Some cited resources are for professionals, but most are news or other helpful articles […]

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Elder Law and Special Needs Law News Roundup – 6-10-2022

We regularly post links to news articles and other resources that related to Elder Law and Special Needs Law. We focus on general news, health and healthcare news, special needs news, events, government sources, financial and retirement news and legal news. Some cited resources are for professionals, but most are news or other helpful articles […]

Elle

News Roundup – 3/25/2022

March is Developmental Disability Awareness Month. March is also National Kidney Month. We regularly post links to news articles and other resources that might be of interest to our viewers. We focus on general news, health and healthcare news, special needs news, events, government sources, financial and retirement news and legal news. Only headlines are […]

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News Roundup – 3/4/2022

We regularly post links to news articles and other resources that might be of interest to our viewers. We focus on general news, health and healthcare news, special needs news, events, government sources, financial and retirement news and legal news. Only headlines are listed so you can use this page like a newspaper, reading only […]

Irrevocable Trust was not an available resource when determining Medicaid eligibility

In Geyen v. Commissioner of Minnesota Department of Human Services, 964 N.W.2d 639 (2021), Dorothy Geyen’s application for Medicaid was denied. In 2011, Geyen established two substantially identical irrevocable trusts. Each trust provided that the trustee could not make loans to Geyen and could not make gifts to her. Nonetheless, the Department took the position […]

Ali

News Roundup – 2/25/2022

February is American Heart Month! Read President Biden’s Proclamation on American Healrth Month 2022 We regularly post links to news articles and other resources we believe might be of interest to our viewers. We focus on general news, health and healthcare news, special needs news, events, government sources, financial and retirement news and legal news. […]

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News Roundup – 2/18/2022

February 18th is National Caregiver’s Day! General News Sources: Will Social Security run out of money? Here’s what could happen to your benefits if Congress doesn’t act Georgia AG Carr Warns Georgians to Beware of Romance Scams | FBI Warning North Macedonia President Walks Girl With Down’s Syndrome To School After She Was Bullied What […]

News Roundup 2-4-2022

NOTE: If you have a Georgia corporation or limited liability company, your annual return is due by April 1, 2022. General News Sources: Dog Aging Project is looking for more participants National Black (African American) History Month: February 2022 (Census) Tricare coverage and Medicare explained Growing elder populations require more services, awareness NAIC Comments on […]

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News Roundup – 1-31-2022

General News Sources: Justice Stephen Breyer announces Retirement What Assets Should Be Included in Your Trust? Facebook parent Meta creates powerful AI supercomputer Make a Plan for Your Parents’ Care Family members as caregivers Social Security: How to get your new baby’s social security number School Choice and the Mental Illness Epidemic The 4 Phases […]

Tennessee Trust Code Revised

Tennessee recently enacted 2021 Tenn. Pub. Acts. 420 (shown below) in an attempt to help Tennessee become a top trust jurisdiction. Among other changes to the trust code, this new law decreases the statute of limitations for creditors filing claims against the trust from two years to 18 months. Articles and Pages: Tennessee Trust Bill […]

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