If I need to set up a “special needs trust” so the money I receive in a class action suit will not disrupt my benefits, can I file the forms myself?

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If I need to set up a “special needs trust” so the money I receive in a class action suit will not disrupt my benefits, can I file the forms myself?

I receive SSI and am a paraplegic its a very small amount.

Asked on October 10, 2012 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you are receiving a very small amount, you might want to spend the money in the month you receive it in order to preserve your benefits.  In most states, you could also place the money in a pooled trust rather than spend the money to create a special needs trust.

It sounds like the amount of money is not sufficient to justify hiring a lawyer to prepare a special needs trust.  You really do need a lawyer to prepare that kind of trust - they are tricky and must be done carefully.

I suggest you call the SSA and ask for the names of some pooled trusts that you could use for the money.  Then call them and see if this would serve your purpose.


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