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What is a WisPACT trust?: WisPACT is a private nonprofit organization that administers pooled and community Special Needs Trusts for people with disabilities. They are responsible for assuring that any money given to your child from the trust will not disqualify them from public assistance. The fees for managing this trust can be found here.
What is needed to set up a WisPACT trust?: A WisPACT trust requires an attorney be involved to help apply for the trust. The attorney may charge a fee for helping to set up the trust and another fee will be charged by WisPACT itself. (Fee Schedule)
Where does a WisPACT trust fit in an estate plan?: A WisPACT trust can either be created and funded while you are still alive, or the trust may be created and left unfunded until after you pass away. This flexibility makes creating a WisPACT trust an advantageous part of an estate plan, if you have a child who has a disability.
Who gets the money in the trust if my child doesn’t spend it all?: When you create a WisPACT trust for a disabled child, you will be able to choose who should receive the money in the event that your child passes away. This can be your other children, a relative, a charity, or someone else entirely.
When is it best to have a specially-drafted trust, rather than a WisPACT trust?: The only reason to have a trust specially-drafted is to avoid some of the management fees. However, it is important to understand that management of these trusts is complex and time-consuming. It requires keeping up to date on exactly what types of distributions are allowed and which ones aren’t. Failing to make the correct distributions can result in loss of benefits for the individual you set up the trust to protect. Therefore, I generally suggest against individuals managing their own specially-drafted special needs trusts.
For more information about setting up a special-needs trust for a disabled individual, contact Heller-Neal Law Offices for a free consultation by calling (262) 902-0595 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Or for more information about WisPACT, check out http://www.wispact.org/
Derrick Heller-Neal is a solo lawyer located in Racine, Wisconsin.