I have dedicated my practice to serving the legal needs of the residents of Northwest Indiana: Porter County, Lake County, LaPorte County and the surrounding communities.
Guardianship is a legal process whereby the guardian becomes responsible for making decisions for another person, know as the "protected person". Guardianship can be of the person only, of the estate only, or both the person and the estate. It can be without limitations or it can be for a limited purpose. It is a very responsible position. The guardian is accountable to the Court for the well being of the "protected person" and /or of that person's estate.
Special Needs Trust
This is a type of trust designed for a person with special needs who is or may be receiving public benefits such as Medicaid and/or SSI (Social Security Income). If money is given directly t a disabled person, this could disqualify him/her from receiving Medicaid or SSI. Suppose a relative wanted to increase the quality of life of a disabled person, beyond what Medicaid and SSI benefits could provide, but at the same time wanted the disabled person to continue receiving Medicaid and SSI. The solution is a Special Needs Trust.
There are two types of Special Needs Trusts. One is a Self-Settled Trust where the money to fund the trust comes from the disabled person, for example by way of an inheritance or an insurance settlement. In this case, the trust has to have a provision that upon the death of the disabled person, the funds left in the trust are available to reimburse the State of Indiana up to the amount of Medicaid costs spent on behalf of the disabled person.
The second type of Special Needs Trust is called a Third Party Special Needs Trust. This is where the money to fund the trust comes from someone other than the disabled person. In this case the funds left in the trust upon the death of the disabled person do not have to be available to reimburse the State of Indiana for its Medicaid costs spent on behalf of the disabled person.
These are just some of the highlights of Special Needs Trusts. There is much more.