Question from George Jetson, How Can an Inheritance Be Managed to Avoid Impacting Income-Based Welfare Assistance in the USA?
Answer from AI:
In the United States, receiving an inheritance can indeed affect eligibility for income-based welfare benefits. However, there are legal strategies that can potentially help manage an inheritance in a way that minimizes its impact on these benefits. It’s important to note that these strategies can be complex and may require the assistance of a legal professional.
Special Needs Trusts
One common strategy is to place the inheritance in a Special Needs Trust (SNT). This type of trust is designed to benefit individuals who are receiving government benefits due to disability or age. The assets in the trust are managed by a trustee and can be used for the beneficiary’s needs without directly increasing their income.
Another option is a Pooled Trust. These are managed by non-profit organizations and pool the resources of many beneficiaries. Each beneficiary has a separate account, and the funds are used for their benefit.
An ABLE account is a tax-advantaged savings account for individuals with disabilities. The funds in these accounts are not counted as assets for most federal means-tested benefits.
Consult a Legal Professional
It’s crucial to consult with a legal professional before making any decisions. The rules around these strategies can be complex and vary by state. A professional can help you understand the potential consequences and choose the best option for your situation.
- The Social Security Act provides information on how income and resources are counted for SSI purposes.
- The Internal Revenue Code Section 529A provides information on ABLE accounts.
Remember, this information is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. Always consult with a legal professional for advice tailored to your specific circumstances.