When other settlement options are not appropriate, there is often much flexibility, safety, and protection to be found in trust solutions.
Special Needs Trusts (SNT)
Many government entitlement programs such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income are means-tested. An SNT can be used alone, or in conjunction with a settlement annuity to maintain government entitlement eligibility while using the settlement proceeds as they were intended- to better the life of the claimant. The US and State governments allow SNTs that conform with their rules to hold assets which are not counted in determining entitlement program eligibility. Often the governmental entity providing the benefit receives a right to be reimbursed if there is any money left in the SNT at the death of the trust beneficiary.
Settlement Protection Trusts (SPT)
A Settlement Protection Trust (SPT) provides claimants a safe, protected account for their settlements proceeds. An SPT can provide regular periodic payments to the recipient of a settlement while maintaining the flexibility of having the money available for medical expenses, college costs or other unforeseen needs. Like a structured settlement annuity, this trust provides spendthrift protection – a necessity in many situations. The trust is set up with large, national trust companies that serve as trustee, and are adaptable to the changing needs of injury victims. Tombs Maxwell LLP’s relationship with these trustees allows us to offer reduced fees for these trust services. SPTs are ideal for clients who need the security and simplicity of monthly payments, the opportunity for growth, and liquidity for future contingencies.
Medicare Set Aside Trusts (MSAT)
MSATs protect Medicare’s interests in Worker’s Compensation and certain liability claims. If Medicare’s interests are not considered and protected, stiff penalties can follow. We can help you determine whether an MSAT is necessary in your case and establish one if needed.
Minors and adults who have been determined to be incompetent often face a fairly limited set of options with their settlement money. They can have it paid into the registry of the court, purchase a structured settlement annuity, or initiate expensive and intrusive guardianship proceedings. When these options are not appropriate, many states allow the judge to order the funds paid into a trust as long as it meets certain qualifications. We can help you design, implement and administer trusts that are appropriate to your situation and comply with the requirements in your state.