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Worcester
Worcester
The Guaranty Building
370 Main Street, 12th Floor
Worcester, MA 01608
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Framingham
The Meadows
161 Worcester Road, Suite 501
Framingham, MA 01701
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Boston
12 Post Office Square, 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02109
Providence
Providence
1 Richmond Square, Suite 303N
Providence, RI 02906
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Cape Cod
1597 Falmouth Road
Centerville, MA 02632
Hudson
Hudson
69 Main Street
Hudson, MA 01749
New Bedford
New Bedford
651 Orchard Street, Suite 107
New Bedford, MA 02744
Medfield
Medfield
Olde Medfield Square
266 Main Street, Bldg. 2, Suite 15A
Medfield, MA 02052
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Please join Fletcher Tilton Tax Attorney and Certified Elder Law Attorney Michael T. Lahti for an informative webinar. In the comfort of your own home or office, you will learn why some wills do not work, even when drafted correctly.  Details for the next upcoming date.

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Articles

Common Pitfalls in Administering a 3rd Party Funded Supplemental Needs Trust or OBRA ‘93 Special Needs Trusts

By Theresa M. Varnet on October 26, 2020
  • Comingling savings, income or government benefits which belong to the beneficiary with a 3rd party funded Supplemental Needs Trust.
  • Not reviewing instructions regarding types of distributions allowed for 3rd party Special Needs Trusts and 1st party Supplemental Needs Trusts aka OBRA’93 SNT.
  • Making improper distributions from the trust which results in a reduction or ineligibility for certain needs based benefits.
  • Not applying for and using Tax Identification Number when trust is funded.
  • Not consulting with your attorney prior to funding the trust to discuss income and estate tax consequences of funding the trust.
  • Failure to file income tax returns.
  • Not keeping adequate records (e.g., cutting a check to guardian or parent for $200 without tracking what the $200 was used for; better to use SSI/SSDI check for spending money.)
  • Not reviewing estate plan every 3 - 5 years to keep up with changes in the law or family circumstances (e.g., new changes in Massachusetts estate tax) and Massachusetts health income/asset deeming rules.
  • Not changing ownership and beneficiary designation on insurance policies (cash value of life insurance policy may be a problem; minor policies become owned by person with disability when he or she turns 18 or 21).
  • Not changing beneficiary designation on IRAs, 401(k)s, etc.
  • U.S. Savings Bonds can be a problem if forgotten and value of bonds plus other assets are over $2,000 for an extended period of time.
  • Failure to write a plan of direction - hopes/dreams/wishes.
  • Failure to select an appropriate trustee and assuming family will step in to manage trust.
  • In the case of OBRA ‘93 trusts, not advising the Estate Recovery Unit of death of recipient.
  • Using general “Per Stirpes” language in parents’ grandparents’ estate plan may cause a disabled individual to receive an inheritance which may trigger a loss of benefits.
  • Failure to direct child support to an OBRA’93 Trust following a change in child support settlement agreement.


©2020. This material is intended to offer general information to clients and potential clients of the firm, which information is current to the best of our knowledge on the date indicated below. The information is general and should not be treated as specific legal advice applicable to a particular situation. Fletcher Tilton PC assumes no responsibility for any individual’s reliance on the information disseminated unless, of course, that reliance is as a result of the firm’s specific recommendation made to a client as part of our representation of the client. Please note that changes in the law occur and that information contained herein may need to be reverified from time to time to ensure it is still current. This information was last updated October 2020.


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