Special Needs Trusts

Ms. Donna L. Wulkan is a special needs trust lawyer that can create, maintain, and administer a Special Needs Trust. Ms. Wulkan can serve as a Trustee for your Special Needs Trust so that the financial assets of a disabled child or ward are protected and spent in the best manner possible to ensure that the beneficiary is receiving the full benefits of the Trust while maintaining eligibility for related entitlements.

What is a Special Needs Trust?

A Special Needs Trust is a trust that protects the financial assets of a disabled child while still allowing the beneficiary to qualify for Medicaid and SSI. This type of trust is useful where a child with a disability is awarded substantial financial assets following issues with their hospital delivery or early care. By example, Special Needs Trusts are often created when a child becomes disabled due to medical malpractice or hospital negligence and the child is awarded a large monetary settlement as a result of a court order or settlement agreement.

How to Set Up a Special Needs Trust?

A Special Needs Trust is established when the beneficiary of a trust, a disabled child or individual, has financial assets but needs the assistance of a trustee (attorney) to manage and preserve those assets while still maintaining the beneficiary’s eligibility to the entitlement, such as Medicaid or SSI. Navigating the world of Special Needs Trusts is complicated for many reasons. Specifically, there are many different laws involved when researching how to set up a special needs trust. There is a long-term need for a constant trust administrator, and the trustee needs to ensure that the trust is expended in compliance with governing rules, as misuse can result in its termination. Let our Special Needs Trust lawyers help you with this process.

Who is a Trustee and What Do They Do?

A Trustee can be appointed by the courts when the court believes that a Trustee is needed to secure the interests of the beneficiary and protect the trust. A Trustee works with the family and beneficiary to determine the best use of the trust, including discussing major expenditures (for example the construction or relocation of a home that is accessible given the beneficiary’s special needs so that there is space for chairs or overhead lifts or larger doorways, etc.), advising the beneficiary and family on the appropriate uses of the Trust, planning the day-to-day finances of the beneficiary, reporting to the court on all annual expenditures, and petitioning the court for leave to expend larger sums as appropriate.

Ms. Wulkan has managed Special Needs Trusts throughout her twenty-nine years of practice and has served as a Special Needs Trustee on a wide variety of cases. As Trustee, Ms. Wulkan has successfully effected interstate transfers of Special Needs Trusts, assisted beneficiaries in using trust funds to build homes that can accommodate their disabilities or fund technology or services to meet their needs, and has invested and grown the corpus of many of the trusts for which she serves as Trustee.

Ms. Wulkan is currently accepting referrals for Trustees through both the Maryland and the District of Columbia Courts, as well as through private referrals on a case-by-case basis. Please contact our Special Needs Trust lawyers for more information at (202) 682-3909 or email us at lawoffice@wulkanlaw.com.