FAQs Archive - Ritter Elder Law & Estate Planning

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • What is a Special Needs Trust (a.k.a. Supplemental Needs Trust)

    In Maryland, a buy-sell agreement is a legal contract between co-owners of a business or property that outlines the terms and conditions under which one owner may sell their share to the other owner(s).

    Buy-sell agreements are often used to provide a framework for the transfer of ownership in the event of certain triggering events, such as the death, disability, retirement, or voluntary departure of one of the owners. The agreement can also include provisions for the sale of an owner’s share if they default on a loan or violate certain terms of the agreement.

    The buy-sell agreement can specify the price at which the owner’s share will be sold, as well as the terms of payment and any other conditions that must be met before the sale can be completed. It can also address issues such as how the business will be valued, who will be responsible for managing the business, and how disputes will be resolved.

    A buy-sell agreement can be an important tool for protecting the interests of all co-owners and ensuring that the business or property continues to operate smoothly in the event of unexpected events. It’s important to work with a qualified attorney to draft a buy-sell agreement that meets the specific needs of the co-owners and complies with Maryland law.

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  • What is a D4A Special Needs Trust?

    A D4A special needs trust (also known as a first-party special needs trust) is a type of trust that is funded with the assets of a person with disabilities who is under the age of 65. The trust is established to provide for the beneficiary’s supplemental care and support while preserving their eligibility for government benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

    The D4A special needs trust is named after the provision in the federal law that authorizes its creation, which is found in section 1917(d)(4)(A) of the Social Security Act. This provision allows a person with disabilities to transfer their assets into a trust that is specifically designed to provide for their supplemental needs without disqualifying them from receiving government benefits.

    The D4A special needs trust can be established by the beneficiary, beneficiary’s parent, grandparent, or legal guardian, or by a court. The trust must also meet certain requirements, such as being irrevocable, having a trustee who is independent of the beneficiary, and providing that any remaining assets will go to the state upon the beneficiary’s death. This last part is known as the Medicaid payback provision.

    It is important to note that a D4A special needs trust is subject to certain rules and limitations, and it is recommended to consult with a qualified attorney or financial advisor who is knowledgeable in this area to ensure that the trust is properly established and managed to achieve the intended goals.

    Click here to visit RELEP’s Special Needs Planning webpage.

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