Blog post by Jill Hughes

Do you or a loved one receive means-tested benefits such as Medicaid or disability? Do they need a better quality of life or protection from inheritance canceling their benefits? There are estate planning tools available to assist persons who are dependent on means-tested benefits. The pickle has always been that if you receive benefits like disability, it’s because you’re not able to work full-time. But if you work part-time, your benefits are reduced, so it is difficult to achieve a comfortable lifestyle. Another problem arises when a person on public support inherits a small sum – not enough to provide long-term care, but just enough to cause their benefits to be rescinded or reduced.


The tax code provides for relief from these dilemmas. Supplemental needs trusts hold wealth (big or small) for some public support recipients without incurring risk to those benefits. The trusts are designed to supplement basic needs - to allow the beneficiary to receive gifts. Then beneficiaries may enjoy the extras in life like vacations and luxury items and/or inherit from their family members without losing their public support.


If you would like to preserve the public support for yourself or a loved one and also enhance that person’s quality of life, you may benefit from a supplemental needs trust. Matrium Law Group is a family and estate planning law firm in Missoula, Montana. Contact a licensed attorney at the firm by calling (406) 552-7814, or send us an email.