When your loved one suffers from physical or mental disability, or is unable to manage their own finances, you may be tempted to bequeath a certain amount of funds to help them, but this is not always the best option, as their Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits could be adversely impacted. Our Montana special needs attorney can help you with better options, such as setting up special needs trusts. Using a trust will reduce your tax liability, and also ensure that your quality of life is not impacted when you have someone with special needs in your family.
Three specific types of special needs trusts are available for individuals with special needs in Montana.
First-party special needs trust: The assets to the trust generally come from inheritance, or settlement. Upon the passing away of the beneficiary, the government cannot demand reimbursement from the remaining assets for the expenses paid on behalf of the beneficiary.
Third-party special needs trust: The assets in this trust belong to the donor of the trust. Upon the passing away of the beneficiary, the funds of the trust could be bequeathed to other family members, or held in the trust for the benefit of family members.
Pooled trust: Assets are held for multiple beneficiaries with their own sub-accounts, but managed by one entity.
Special needs trust supplements, not replaces, the benefits of SSI, Medicaid, and Veterans Aid. Our Montana special needs attorney will help you in establishing the best trust based on your individual goals so that the trust assets are not counted to collect government benefits, instead of the beneficiary, with additional language for supplemental and extra care.
Helping you choose the best trust
Our Montana special needs attorney will also help you in setting up either a recoverable or non-recoverable trust. If you are looking for a tax advantage, a recoverable trust would be a better option. If you want that assets from the trust cannot be removed without the permission of the beneficiary, choose a non-recoverable trust.
When someone dies, their properties and assets must be converted into an asset before these could be distributed. This legal process is called probate which includes many difficult steps, such as the validity of wills and estate plans, identification and payments of the estate’s debt, and the distribution of the estate property as per the wishes of the deceased. Our probate attorney in Great Falls will file a series of documents that outline the estate’s assets and affidavits, to simplify the probate process for you if your estate is worth $50,000 or less.
In case you don’t qualify for a simple probate process, you will have to go through a more complicated process involving rigorous documents and court hearings that include:
Because this process is complicated, most families in Great Falls consult experienced probate attorneys in Great Falls to assist them. Our highly experienced and knowledgeable probate attorneys in Great Falls offer practical advice to the families for a painless probate claim process. Sometimes, the loved one dies before writing a valid will. In this case, the probate court in Montana will distribute the estate’s assets under intestate succession or inheritance laws.
Because Montana’s inheritance rules are confusing, and also sometimes intestate succession rules have unwanted consequences, like you might want your spouse to receive all of your assets rather than sharing with your parents, it would be better to consult experienced probate attorneys in Great Falls so that you do not end up with mistakes, unwanted expenses, and damaged family relationships.
Montana Elder Law firm serves through seven towns of Montana, viz. Great Falls, Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Our practice is limited to elder law, estate planning, probate, and special needs planning.