How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Seattle Scott Your Own Question

Seattle Scott
Seattle Scott, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 739
Experience:  I have 25 years experience as a Washington State Family Law Attorney.
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Seattle Scott is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am trustee for a special needs trust for my brother. I am

Customer Question

I am trustee for a special needs trust for my brother. I am 71 and live in Santa Barbara, CA. My brother, age 63, and his wife live in Tehachapi [Kern county] California. He is high functioning bi-polar, with stable medication. He has a history with SSI and Medi-Cal, Social Security and Medicare. The trust is a 3rd party, non-revokeable trust, created in VA and vetted with California SSA. ...created as a result of inheritance distribution pursuant to death of parents. His with has Social Security diability but has been non-disabled and worked a full career in a non-dependent status.

My brother is allowed to own a home and have car.

Question: Can he get the home in his own name along with his wife's name, or does sharing ownership in any manner damage the protected status of being able to own a home? In other words, can the partial ownership of the home in some manner be used against him or the protected status of his SSI ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Seattle Scott replied 1 year ago.

Neither SSI nor SSDI are asset dependent benefits - meaning a person's wealth does not factor in to qualifying for benefits. There is an income limitation for SSI beneficiaries, though, but your question is just about owning certain assets. The sole purpose of a special needs trust is so the beneficiary can qualify for medicaid benefits, which as opposed to SSI and SSDI is based on a lack of wealth. But a residence/house is excluded from the calculation of wealth for medicaid qualification and a residence/house continues to be excluded even if not occupied by the beneficiary - if occupied by the beneficiary's spouse.

 

Are you contemplating having the trust purchase the house or is this something that your brother and his wife are going to do on their own?

 

At your brother's death, who gets the remaining trust money/assets?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


The trust is purchasing the house to be in the name of himself and his wife. At his death, remaining trust money/assets go to his wife and children.


 


The question is whether having his wife down as owner as well as himself, does this dilute or damage his protected status?...in other words, is there compelling reason for it to be in his name alone?

Expert:  Seattle Scott replied 1 year ago.
If the trust is not going to own the house then the house should be in both names as there is a potential advantage if either spouse needs to be in a nursing home after qualifying for Medicaid, while the other spouse continues to reside in the house.

But the best solution is for the trust to own the house, since that will keep it away from their creditors. For example if brother kills someone while driving and for some reason the car insurance had lapsed or doesn't kill then but makes them require 24 nursing care for life and damages are $3 million and the car insurance is $500,000.

The trust is an asset shelter device so purchasing large value assets for the beneficiary to own defeats one of the purposes of the trust.
Seattle Scott, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 739
Experience: I have 25 years experience as a Washington State Family Law Attorney.
Seattle Scott and 8 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Seattle Scott replied 1 year ago.
Appreciate the nice feedback. Thanks for using Just Answer/Pearl

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
< Last | Next >
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    8085
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    8085
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Attorney and Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    6424
    27+ years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    6336
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    5987
    I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    5773
    JD, 15 years legal experience including family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BrianTMayer/2010-01-06_200119_BM.jpg Brandon M.'s Avatar

    Brandon M.

    Family Law Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    3810
    Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TU/TUSA/2012-6-6_55219_test.64x64.png Thoreau (T-USA)'s Avatar

    Thoreau (T-USA)

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    2634
    Attorney