Is there a Special Need Trust fund for a person over the age of 65 (88)who is mentally disabled (dementia) in the state of CT? My mom has been in an SNF for a year as a private pay. The Dir.Nursing has said that she is one of their most difficult cases. She is very tormented and cries and hollers and is very agitated. I wish that a 1 to 1 aide could be prescribed for her instead of chemical restraints that knock her out. She does benefit from a high level of personal attention, but the SNF doesn't have extra staffing for that. I am hoping to find a way to preserve what remains of her own funds before she goes on Medicaid, without any penalties to her or me, to be used for the sole purpose of providing a companion/aide. I am her daughter and she has named me on a Durable POA and Healthcare POA. Thank you
The short answer is yes, your mother should be able to benefit from a supplemental (special) needs trust. Normally, the age of the person is not a factor in the determination of whether a trust can be put in place for her. You are advised to meet with a trusts and estate attorney to assist you with creating this trust and understanding the tax implications of creating such a trust.
The answers provided in this forum by me and transmitted by users of this forum are not to be considered legally binding in any way, nor is there an intent to form an attorney client relationship. If further information is required, seek competent legal counsel.
Attorney Anthony's answer is only partly correct. Under current law, an individual aged 65 or older cannot establish an independent supplemental needs trust. She can contributed funds to a pooled trust account with the non profit agency Planned Lifetime Assistance Network ("PLAN") of Connecticut, with a care plan. This may be able to accomplish the goal of providing supplemental aides while Medicaid covers the base nursing home charges, however there are significant administration charges, and the account manager is ultimately responsible for making the distributions...a family member cannot be trustee, though they can report what is needed and find cooperation.
Additionally, it bears mentioning that even if your mother is difficult and cannot have direct support staff, that does not oblige you to accept her treatment with psychoactive medication. In fact, in some cases such treatment violates medical standards and/or is illegal. There is a significant problem with the improper use of psychoactive medications to "dope up" difficult patients in this state, and unless she is dangerous to herself or others (and keeping them awake doesn't count), you have a right to refuse them. You can speak to an elder law attorney about this or contact the CT Long-Term Care Ombudsman if you want to pursue this and the facility pushes back.
But back to the trust, you should always consult an Elder Law Attorney to review all of your mothers assets, income sources, and care needs to determine the best course of action, as many disqualifying transactions and care opportunites are not obvious to family members. As PLAN requires you to work with a member attorney to establish a trust account anyways, it is best to start with one now to ensure that that is the best course of action.
Attorney Rosenberg is admitted to practice in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and currently practices in South-Central Connecticut with an emphasis on estate planning, elder law, probate, and tax matters. He may be contacted confidentially by email at [email protected] or by phone at (203) 871-3830. All correspondence through this website appears publicly, is not confidential, and does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Atty. Rosenberg. Discretion should always be employed when posting personal information online. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ All online content provided by Atty. Rosenberg on this and other websites is provided for general informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice. All content is general in nature. Attorneys are unable to ask the questions necessary to fully understand the legal issues faced by any particular poster. Postings and responses to questions only provide general insights on the topic discussed. They are not tailored to any readerâ€™s specific situation, will not be accurate in all states, and are never updated or maintained to reflect changes in the law. No person should take action based on the information provided by anyone on Avvo.com or any other law-themed website without first consulting a local attorney with significant experience in your area of concern. Persuant to Circular 230, no online content may be used by any person to avoid taxes or penalties under the Internal Revenue Code.
I'm going to chime in here. Scott is right. While it's theoretically possible to have a SNT for your mom right now, practically speaking, it is not. However, there are other ways of preserving assets. Well, one other way, I suppose. I suggest you speak to an elder law attorney.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline