• Estate Planning

Author Archives: JRLK

What Does It Mean to ‘Fund’ A Special Needs Trust In Minnesota?

Parents and caregivers of special needs children in Minnesota understand the importance of planning ahead to ensure the future care of their loved one.

For most families, this includes working with a special needs lawyer to create trusts and other legal documents which provide for the continuing care of the child when their parent is no longer able to do so because of age, death or incapacity.

Knowing where the funding will come from for a special needs trust can add an extra layer of concern. Medical concerns and housing options are certainly just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to planning for the rest of your child’s life. Chances are, you have been dealing with these expenses all along and are concerned that there will be nothing left to provide for your loved one.

That’s why it makes sense to consider the available options when determining how to fund, or put enough resources, into a special needs trust.

How Can I Fund a Special Needs Trust?
Of course, if you have a valuable estate to leave behind, much of this can be used to fund the trust. Whether you dictate that real estate be sold upon your death to benefit your child or you have created some sort of savings program which will meet his or her needs, you are certainly on the right track. Your Minnesota special needs lawyer will help you direct these funds to the correct place.

For what is probably the majority of the population, however, leaving such a sizeable estate behind to care for a special needs child is just not in the cards. So, what do you do in a situation like this? One common answer is to purchase a life insurance policy which pays out directly to the special needs trust. Perhaps surprisingly, there are policies which are set up to pay off only when the second parent passes away; and these can be quite inexpensive. They are often referred to as “second-to-die” policies.

Another option for funding the trust is to ask others to contribute. Tax incentives allow for considerable breaks on money which is given in the form of gifts annually. For those looking for such an incentive, the special needs trust can be a worthwhile recipient for an annual contribution. In these cases, it is recommended that you set up the special needs trust as an irrevocable trust. In order to make it easy for others to contribute, the trust should be created during your lifetime rather than upon your death.

How Much Money Should Be In the Special Needs Trust?
Determining the proper amount to fund a special needs trust here in Minnesota is something you will likely want an experienced lawyer to help with. Living expenses can vary across the country and depending on the lifestyle you wish for your child to enjoy in your absence, working with a local attorney who understands the costs your child may face is often best.

There are some resources available for free, however, that can offer some guidance, including the MetDesk Special Needs Calculator at http://www.metlifeiseasier.com/metdesk/. However, there are a lot of considerations to keep in mind when it comes to trying to anticipate the future needs of your child. Because there is no real way to predict how costs will change, it is a good idea to re-evaluate your numbers from time to time.
A few of the categories you’ll need to consider include:
• Housing
• Medical care
• Care assistance
• Education
• Employment
• Replacement for assets
• Special equipment
• Transportation

A Minnesota lawyer with experience funding special needs trusts will have a comprehensive list of considerations and will work with you to determine appropriate numbers.

If you have questions or you’re ready to get started setting up a special needs trust for your child, give our Monticello trusts and estates law firm a call at (763) 244-2949 and ask to schedule a Personal Strategy Session.

Why Every Adult Must Have a Health Care Directive

As an estate planning and family law attorney I cannot urge people enough to make sure their wishes are documented and, more importantly, their families are protected and prepared. A valid Health Care Directive is a critically important document that is so easy to get. It can truly make a world of difference for yourContinue Reading

How to Find a Lawyer

Once you have decided you need a lawyer, the next question is how do you find a lawyer? There are many different ways to find a lawyer, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most common ways to find a lawyer: Referrals from Friends and Family By asking friends andContinue Reading

I just want a cheap and easy divorce!

A common theme among many going through a divorce is the desire to have a “nice” divorce in the most cost-effective way possible. There are many different opinions on how to accomplish this. Today I will explain five options and give some pros/cons for each. I will start off with two general caveats. First ofContinue Reading

Do Your Family A Favor

The best thing you can ever give someone you love is peace of mind.  Stress and uncertainty can take a toll on all of us, the comfort and reassurance that comes from a well thought out plan can go a long way of relieving the burden. Update Your Will.  Hire an attorney who will reallyContinue Reading

Undestanding the difference between the emotional divorce and the legal divorce

In the divorce seminars I teach and in my initial consultations with clients, I often talk about the difference between the emotional divorce and the legal divorce. I am an attorney, it is my job to help with the legal divorce; to help my clients get through the court process and settle issues related toContinue Reading

Planning Advice For Single Adults Without Children In Minnesota

For many adults in Minnesota, the thought of estate planning conjures up visions of grandma and grandpa putting together a will or a trust to pass down their home or cherished heirlooms to family members. It’s all about providing for our offspring, right? Not necessarily. Even if you are single and/or have no children, sittingContinue Reading

Understanding Legal Fees

One of the most important things to understand when working with a lawyer (and one of the major deterrents in hiring a lawyer) is legal fees. Before hiring a lawyer it is important to understand the fee structure that is used, how much money is required upfront (also known as the retainer), what is coveredContinue Reading

Warning: What You Say on Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace May Come Back to Haunt You

As social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace gain in popularity, attorneys are dealing with issues regarding the use, or misuse, of these sites. Employers are using these sites to check up on employees, litigants are using these sites to uncover dirt on opposing sides and witnesses, and in family law cases, partiesContinue Reading

Preparing for Divorce: The First Steps

Divorce can be difficult, but you don’t need to be unprepared. Being prepared can help you handle the emotions, understand the legal process, and get through the divorce as stress-free as possible. Below are some steps to take towards a “nice” divorce: Find a Support Network Divorce can be a very challenging and emotional time.Continue Reading

 ATTORNEY ADVERTISING MATERIAL. The content of this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.  No attorney/client relationship is formed by use of this website. Do not submit confidential information via this site unless and until there is a signed retainer contract on file.