June 13, 2016 was a big day for golfers in Louisville, Kentucky, but an even bigger day for the many people who receive rehabilitation and recovery services from Bridgehaven Mental Health Services. Cochran Gersh Law Office participated in this special fundraising event and exceeded its goal with the help of many wonderful sponsors. Supporting individuals with special needs and their families is something Cochran Gersh Law Office takes very seriously.
The 2016 Bridgehaven Golf Challenge
The Bridgehaven Golf Challenge is an annual fundraising event held at the Oldham County Country Club in LaGrange, Kentucky. During this event, supporters pledge to golf 100 holes in one day in support of the wonderful work they do at Bridgehaven Mental Health Services. Cochran Gersh Law Office was successful in meeting, and surpassing, its fundraising goal.
Cochran Gersh Law Office – a longtime supporter of Bridgehaven
Wes Gersh, founder of Cochran Gersh Law Office, has served on the Board of Directors at Bridgehaven for many years and is currently the Chairman. Bridgehaven’s mission is to provide the highest quality community based psychiatric rehabilitation and recovery services, education and support to those touched by mental illness. In fulfilling this mission, Bridgehaven has helped countless individuals in the Louisville community.
Bridgehaven has a history of helping
Bridgehaven is recognized for providing the highest quality, community based psychiatric rehabilitation and recovery services, education, and support to individuals dealing with mental illness. It’s programs are intended to help individuals with mental illness stay out of hospitals, obtain and keep jobs, and to reintegrate them back into their communities. Founded in 1958, Bridgehaven became the first such program in Jefferson County, and only the third of its kind in the nation that serves people with psychiatric problems outside of the hospital setting. The program currently serves more than 500 individuals annually.
Support for individuals “special needs”
The concept of “special needs” is rather comprehensive, but basically it refers to medical treatment and health-care services, as well as other related services meant to increase the beneficiary’s quality of life. Special needs trusts can also be used to provide resources for daily living activities, respite care for the primary caregiver, and living arrangements or necessary renovations to the beneficiary’s home, among other things.
What you should know about a special needs trust
Trusts are key estate planning tools because they provide a trust account that can hold money, securities and other assets for your beneficiaries, to be used when and how you instruct in your trust document. This is an especially useful arrangement if you have a loved one with special needs. In fact, there is a particular type of trust referred to as a special needs trust created specifically for that purpose.
How a special needs trust works
The purpose of a special needs trust is to plan for the future care of someone who has a special need or disability. This can include financial support, medical care, general personal care and protection of government benefits. The two major goals of a special needs trust are to protect your loved one’s eligibility for government benefits and to ensure that if something happens to the primary caregiver, your loved one will still be taken care of. A special needs trust is irrevocable, which means it cannot be revoked or modified once it has been created. They also protect the assets included in the trust from potential creditor claims.
Creating a special needs trust
There are two ways to create a special needs trust. It can either be established during the caregiver’s lifetime or at your death through a provision included in a will or a living trust. Once the trust has been created and funded, you need to obtain a tax identification number from the IRS so that bank and other accounts can be opened.
Funding a special needs trust
In most cases, trusts used for special needs are funded by a parent or relative of that individual. In cases where the trust is funded by the beneficiary’s own assets, it is referred to as a “self-settled” special needs trust. With self-settled trusts, federal law requires that Medicaid be reimbursed when the beneficiary passes away for benefits paid. Another way to fund a special needs trust is through pooled trusts, which means the funds belonging to several different beneficiaries are pooled together, managed and invested on behalf of all beneficiaries by a non-profit organization.
If you have questions regarding a special needs trust, or any other special needs planning matters, contact Cochran Gersh Law Office for a complimentary consultation either online or by calling us at (502) 423-7023.