FAQ – Implementation

What do I do with the supplemental needs trust documents themselves?

You should put the supplemental needs trusts in a safe place that is easily accessible by you, and you should let the successor trustee know that the documents exist and where they are located.

After signing the documents, do I fund the supplemental needs trusts and are there other implementation steps?

The third-party (“15.1”) supplemental needs trust is typically not funded until the death of the parents or one or more other family members. The self-funded (“(d)(4)(A)”) trust is typically funded only if the child has or receives assets with a value that exceeds the amount that is exempt for Medicaid and SSI eligibility purposes and the child will be applying for, or already has begun receiving, Medicaid or SSI. As part of the program, we provide an implementation memorandum that reviews trust funding and other implementation issues.

May other family members and friends contribute to the trusts?

Yes, other family members and friends may contribute to the third-party supplemental needs trust and/or name that trust as a beneficiary of investment accounts, retirement plans, or insurance policies.

How often should I review this plan?

Absent any significant changes in your family or financial situation or your child’s personal situation, we typically recommend that you review your estate plan at least every three years, as well as when your child is approaching 18 years of age.

What should we do if we divorce after the documents are signed?

If you divorce after the documents are signed, we recommend that you seek legal counsel to determine what changes are required or desired.

Can Rivkin & Rivkin help us when it is time to apply for public benefits?

Rivkin & Rivkin does not assist families with applying for benefits. Upon request, however, we can provide referrals for public benefit planners in the area who can assist you with a public benefits application.

"I thank Rivkin & Rivkin for helping me with my planning for my child's future. They truly made an overwhelming situation understandable, and they were so nice and caring during the process. Thank you again!"

– L.W. of Mundelein

"The program was great. It was very easy to complete."

– X.S. of Vernon Hills