Over the years, we have developed relationships with professionals specializing in trusts and the various uses of trusts. Different clients have different needs, and certain trusts are better than others when it comes to addressing these needs. We refer our clients to the trust professionals we believe to be a good fit for their circumstances.
TYPES OF TRUSTS
When there are concerns about running through settlement funds too quickly, spendthrift trusts may be established to ensure the funds last a long period, even a lifetime if used in conjunction with a structured settlement. Such a trust is used when the trust beneficiary is a child or an incapacitated person, as well as when a “gatekeeper” is needed to protect them from people in their lives who may want to “help” them spend their money.
SPECIAL NEEDS TRUSTS (SNTs)
When the injured party is on Social Security and Medicaid, it is imperative that their settlement funds not be paid to them directly. The funds must be paid into a Special Needs Trust in order to maintain eligibility for such public benefits.
“Trigger” trusts are perfect for the cases where there is even a chance of needing Social Security or Medicaid in the future. This trust is set up such that, upon the “triggering” event, it evolves into a Special Needs Trust.
MEDICARE SET ASIDE TRUSTS
These are used for injured clients who may, at any time in the future, need Medicare benefits or who are currently negotiating Workers’ Compensation settlements.
These are used for clients who may simply want some of their settlement funds set aside for medical purposes. This can help those worried about spending money earmarked for medical needs so that it is not commingled with their regular spending money.
468B TRUSTS/QUALIFIED SETTLEMENT FUNDS (QSFs)
Typically, these trusts are used for cases involving numerous clients, i.e., for class action suits. These are also used by plaintiff attorneys to have more say regarding how settlement funds are used or distributed, and are used for cases involving complex circumstances. The settlement funds are paid into the court-approved 468B/QSF and at that point, the defense gets released from further obligations. The administrator of the 468B/QSF acts as a gatekeeper and distributes the settlement funds to pay liens and attorney fees, and to fund structured settlements and trusts. When the funds are paid out, the 468B/QSF is closed.
Ask us about any of these trust options and when these should be used.
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