Tag: wills and trusts

Solutions are our Focus!

We Focus on Solutions!!

I had an experience lately. A client paid a large Salt Lake firm more than $20,000 on a case that was valued at less than $3000 if he won the whole case.  Can you imagine that?  I was stunned and wondered how this happened. Then, I think I figured it out.  His attorneys were focused on the process, following the rules, instead of finding solutions to his problem.  There are these things in the law that most people, including attorneys, are clueless about called the Rules of Civil Procedure.  Here is a link to the Utah Rules: https://www.utcourts.gov/resources/rules/urcp/

What are The Rules of Civil Procedure?

The Rules of Civil Procedure are the rules that say how to do things in court.  There are over 100 of them in Utah.  Crazy!  These rules set deadlines for many things.  They say that no matter what you must do this and you must do that.  Some of the most costly ones are the rules governing discovery.

What is discovery?

Discovery is the process where people in a lawsuit exchange required information about the case with everyone else in the case.  This is the process that cost my friend above so much money.  Did circumstances require that much discovery in his case?  The strict reading of the rules says that you have to do it.  But, was it in his best interest to do it?  I do not think so.

We approach cases looking for solutions

Here at our firm we approach cases with a greater focus on the solution to our client’s problem over focusing on doing all the discovery we can in every case.  Some cases will require it; there is no getting around it.  Often we are able to talk to the other attorney and decide what information is absolutely vital and focus on getting that information exchanged and then we dive into finding solutions.

How is this different?

This is a different way of approaching a case than a lot of firms. It is faster, less painful, and usually results in a faster, less expensive and better outcome for our client.  For my friend I reviewed the contract that gave rise to his problem and in a couple of yours found a solution that could save him an additional $30,000 on the contract that this firm had not seen in $20,000 plus in attorney fees.

Call us! We can help!

So, if you want to hire a firm that is going to pay attention to finding the solution, you need please give us a call.  We can help! We can find solutions!

Special Needs Trusts

Special Needs Trusts

Special needs trusts are set up to allow people with special needs to qualify for or maintain “needs based” government benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”). In general, eligibility for these programs require that a persons assets held in a special needs trust will not be seen as “countable” for Medicaid and SSI eligibility. However, those assets held in the trust can still be used to supplement needs based government benefits and provide many of the good things in life such as electronics, companionship, vacations, hair care, dental, education, etc…

Two Types

Self settled is when a person sets up their own special needs trust for their own benefit.

Third party is when someone sets up a special needs trust for someone else.

Basic Rules

There are specific requirements for each of the types of special needs trusts, however they should follow the following rules.

  • Trustee shall only supplement government benefits and never displace government benefits.
  • The Trustee shall not distribute cash or property directly to the beneficiary
  • The beneficiary may not demand payment or that assets be distributed to the trust.
  • Never give the disabled beneficiary a general or limited power of appointment.
  • Trustee shall not make any distributions that would disqualify the beneficiary from needs based government benefits
  • Trust assets are not available to the beneficiary
  • Trustee shall not allow beneficiary to co-mingle funds with the trust assets.
  • The trustee shall not reimburse the beneficiary directly for purchases he or she makes.
  • The Trustee may pay directly for services, provided the Primary Beneficiary does not receive any assets as a result of such expenditure that can be converted to cash.
  • The Trustee may distribute a gift certificate directly to the Primary Beneficiary if the certificate is nontransferable and nonrefundable and cannot be converted to cash.

If you have a situation where you think a special needs trust would benefit you please contact us at 435-674-2564 and ask for Travis Christiansen.

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