Can I set up a special needs trust for my older brother who is receiving benefits?

Q: My 70-year-old brother is a named beneficiary in my Parents’ trust and will receive $120,000.00. I would like to ensure that this money can be preserved for his needs going forward – assisted living, nursing home etc. without affecting his current social security benefits. His wife is also receiving benefits of some sort. Neither are competent to manage their own affairs. (Ligonier, PA)

A: First question that needs to be known is, are your parent’s alive? Is your parent’s trust irrevocable? If so, what type of discretion does the trustee have in making distributions to trust beneficiaries? You really need to have the trust instrument examined by a competent estate or trust attorney.

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