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Denver Special Needs Trust Attorney

Special needs trusts can be crucial when you have a disabled or impaired loved one.  You want to be able to financially provide for and take care of well into the future. These powerful legal documents can be pivotal to providing for these loved ones’ ongoing medical needs while not affecting their eligibility for essential government benefits.

At, Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd., our Denver special needs trust lawyer are skilled at developing comprehensive trusts that can effectively protect your loved ones with special needs after you have passed. Our Denver attorneys can develop comprehensive trusts that can effectively protect your loved ones with special needs after you have passed. Contact a Denver special needs trust attorney today for sound legal guidance in all your estate planning matters.

Why Choose Our Denver Special Needs Trust Lawyer?

  • Our Denver estate litigation lawyers have more than two decades of experience handling all types of estate law matters.
  • We take a client-centered approach and strive to address the entire family dynamic to help you leave a lasting and positive legacy for your loved ones.
  • By working with us to develop a special needs trust, you can rest assured that your disabled loved ones will be financially secure for years to come.

Why You Need to Hire an Attorney for a Special Needs Trust in Denver

The rules for creating a special needs trust in Colorado are complicated. If you plan to fund a trust with the beneficiary’s own money, for example (a first-party trust), you may not be able to navigate the complex related laws on your own. Although it is possible to create a special needs trust without an attorney’s assistance, with something as important as your loved one’s future on the line, you may not wish to risk handling the trust on your own and making a critical error. An attorney can help you guarantee your loved one’s benefits with a customized trust.

What Is a Special Needs Trust?

As the name implies, a special needs trust is set up to provide for a person with special needs. It is designed to supplement benefits that person might receive from government programs. A well-drafted special needs trust allows the beneficiary to continue receiving government benefits in addition to funds from the trust. This is where a Denver special needs trust lawyer can help.

How Does a Special Needs Trust Work in Denver?

Essentially, a trust is a relationship between three parties:

  • The grantor who funds the trust;
  • The trustee who administers the trust according to the grantor’s wishes; and
  • The beneficiary or beneficiaries who benefit from the funds.

A special needs trust is tailored to a person with special needs.  It is designed to manage assets for the benefit of that person without compromising access to government benefits.

Essential Items for a Special Needs Trust

It is critical to ensure the legal validity of your special needs trust. Failing to include a required element could invalidate the trust and lead to problems for your loved one down the road. This is one reason why it is important to have an attorney handle the creation of your special needs trust for you, so that you can avoid common mistakes that may jeopardize the validity of the trust. All special needs trusts must have these essential items:

  • It must be valid according to local, state and federal laws.
  • It must be irrevocable.
  • It must show that the trust assets are not available resources of the beneficiary for the purposes of Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid or equivalent state programs.
  • The beneficiary must meet the definition of disabled according to the rules of Social Security Disability, in most cases.

The trust also should not affect your loved one’s government or means-tested benefits. Although you may be able to create a simple special needs trust on your own, an attorney can help you personalize your trust, keep the legal process efficient and answer your questions about this complicated area of law. Your trust will take effect after you sign the document and have it notarized. You can then add cash to the trust or fund it through other means, as desired.

Types of Special Needs Trusts

Every person with special needs requires something different. Every special needs trust should be individually-tailored to meet that family’s unique needs. The three main types of special needs trusts are as follows.

First-Party Special Needs Trust

There are several different types of special needs trusts due to regulations regarding Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a government program designed to assist people with low income and special needs. To qualify for this program, an applicant can have no more than $2,000 in his or her own name. However, the government will still allow a person with special needs to qualify for SSI benefits if additional assets in the special needs person’s own name (for example, from an inheritance or accident settlement) are placed in a first-party special needs trust. The funds in the trust are used for the benefit of the special needs person until his or her death, at which point any remaining assets in the trust are used to reimburse the government for the cost of his or her medical care.

Third-Party Special Needs Trust

A third-party special needs trust holds funds belonging to someone other than the special needs person. This type of trust is often used by parents and family members who want to help a loved one with special needs. A third-party special needs trust can hold any type of asset, including real estate, stocks, bonds, and other types of investments. Assets held in the trust do not affect SSI benefits and can be used to supplement government benefits in providing for the beneficiary’s needs. However, with this type of trust, when the beneficiary dies, funds remaining in the trust can pass to another family member or to charity, instead of being used to reimburse the government.

Pooled Trust

A pooled trust is an alternative to a first-party special needs trust. It holds funds from many different beneficiaries with special needs. This type of trust is set up by a charity. Beneficiaries pool their resources for investment purposes, although a separate account is maintained for each beneficiary’s needs. When the special needs beneficiary dies, funds remaining in his or her account are used to reimburse the government. However, a portion of the funds goes to the charitable organization responsible for managing the trust.

How to Choose a Trustee

Selecting a trustee for your special needs trust is an important aspect of this type of planning. The trustee is the person who will be in charge of allocating the benefits to the special needs individual – and managing the trust in general – after you pass away. Note that if you choose a pooled trust, a nonprofit organization with trust powers must be your trustee. Otherwise, you should choose a trustee with the following characteristics:

  • Experience managing assets.
  • The skill to maintain diligent and accurate financial records.
  • Knowledge of prudent investor rules.
  • An understanding of how to make payments on behalf of the beneficiary under the terms of the trust agreement.
  • The ability to avoid or resolve conflicts of interest (if you choose a friend or family member).
  • A kind and caring interest in the beneficiary.

Overall, the trustee should be someone that you believe can handle the responsibility of administering the trust when you are not around to do so. It should be someone who cares about your loved one – the beneficiary – and who will act only in the beneficiary’s best interests. Although it is possible for relatives to dispute a trustee if something goes wrong, it is always best to avoid this situation by carefully selecting the ideal person for the job from the beginning. An attorney can help you with the selection of your trustee.

What Are the Benefits of Special Needs Trusts?

Also referred to supplemental needs trusts, special needs trusts can specifically detail how financial assets should be distributed to your impaired loved ones, so they have access to the medical care and support they need. Because these trusts are administered by trustees who are different from the beneficiaries (i.e., the disabled individuals), they will not impact the beneficiaries’ eligibility for government benefits like, for instance:

  • Social security income (SSI)
  • Medicaid
  • Subsidized housing
  • Vocational rehabilitation

Special needs trusts can provide your disabled loved ones with additional financial support.  It can be used to pay for their vital needs that may not be covered by their government benefits.  The financial assistance offered by special needs trusts can be used by your disabled loved ones to cover the costs of:

  • Personal care attendants like in-home nursing care
  • Domestic and personal care services
  • Out-of-pocket medical and dental care
  • Physical rehabilitation
  • Living and transportation needs
  • Household costs other than food and rent
  • Yard services and maintenance
  • Apparel, home décor, furniture and appliances
  • Television and cable TV
  • Personal care items and supplies
  • Pet and service animal costs and supplies
  • Academic courses or recreational classes
  • Membership in recreational clubs
  • Home, vehicle or other liability insurance
  • Vacation costs for the beneficiary and attendant
  • Prepaid funeral and burial arrangements

Additionally these supplemental needs trusts will continue to support the disabled beneficiary.  This is as long as the trust funds are available,  and as long as the beneficiary’s impairments persist.

Denver Special Needs Trust Lawyer at Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd.

When you are ready to start planning for the future of your loved ones with special needs, you can turn to the Denver special needs trust lawyers at Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd.. We provide a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to our clients’ estate planning, elder law, and other legal needs, and we take pride in helping each of our clients and their families find the best solutions for them. This means that we provide personalized attention at every step of the process.  Above all, our clients can rely on our Denver trusts attorneys to always be competent, caring, and professional.  They provide them with the highest quality of estate planning legal services at affordable rates.

Our Denver special needs trusts lawyers are skilled at using a variety of traditional and innovative approaches. We develop solutions that are tailored to our clients’ needs and objectives. Our goal is to help our clients efficiently navigate the complexities of the law. They can develop effective, prudent solutions that will protect their loved ones in the future.

Contact a Denver Special Needs Trust Lawyer For Help

From our offices in Denver, we serve clients throughout the southwest and southeast Metro Area, including (but not limited to) people in Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Castle Rock, Parker, Aurora, Greenwood Village, Englewood, Centennial, Wheat Ridge, Golden and Arvada.  To schedule this meeting, call us at (303) 713-9147 or email us using our convenient online contact form.

At, Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd., our Denver special needs trust lawyer are skilled at developing comprehensive trusts that can effectively protect your loved ones with special needs after you have passed. Our Denver attorneys can develop comprehensive trusts that can effectively protect your loved ones with special needs after you have passed. Contact a Denver special needs trust attorney today for sound legal guidance in all your estate planning matters.

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John Phillips has now gone to JR Phillips & Assoc. PC.  Justin Blow, Denise Husa, and Lexus Bohan are now with Colorado Estate Matters and can be reached below.