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Author: FoolinSC Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 5741  
Subject: Inheritance and SSI Date: 3/29/2012 3:52 PM
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My father passed away 3 weeks ago and left me sole benificiary of his estate. I have two brothers; one he disinherited completely and the other has a mental illness and has lived disablity that was converted to social security upon eligibility. He is currently 66 years old and is at full retirement age. My father's instructions in the trust document to me was to "gift" my brother with the monies I receive from the estate in a way that does not replace SSI or public assistance of any kind. At first I just figured it was because my father felt (and I agreed) that my oldest brother was not competent to handle large sums of money. He lives at the YMCA in New Britain CT and gets around $600 plus dollars in SSI, the vast majority of which goes to rent at the "Y"-- around $500. I wish he would move to a subsidized apartment there so that his SSI wasn't being eaten up by rent at the "Y"-- My dad would send him a few hundred in a money order each month and wanted me to continue this practice. My question to anyone who might know is, can I gift my brother any amount of cash at this point since he's at full retirement age? If he worked he could literally make any figure he wants but I'm unclear about the amount of "gift" or if my father understood that he could have in fact left my brother a lump sum inheritance as well if it would not affect his SSI. Earnings do not affect SSI at full retirement. Would an inheritance affect SSI even at full retirement or not? I just want to make sure that if I gift my brother with cash that he won't get in trouble.
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Author: JAFO31 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5615 of 5741
Subject: Re: Inheritance and SSI Date: 3/29/2012 7:07 PM
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FoolinSC: I do not know the answer to you question, but I am sorry for the loss of your father.

You wrote that you were instructed to "gift my brother with the monies I receive from the estate in a way that does not replace SSI or public assistance of any kind."

As you may well know, some/many public assistance programs have not only an income test but also an asset test. It is clear to me that for some reason your father believed that "too many assets" would affect SSI or other public assistance your brother receives.

This is often an estate planning issue for parents of children with special needs, and you may nned to look around those corners of TMF or other parts of the web for some guidance. SSI is probably a federal issue, but other public assistance may be a state law issue (probably CT where your brother resides).

Good luck, JAFO

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Author: gsgreen Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5616 of 5741
Subject: Re: Inheritance and SSI Date: 3/30/2012 10:09 AM
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Seems to me that inheriting a lump sum would have indeed created an "asset" that might have triggered undesirable consequences.
Receiving a gift of a few hundred each month from a sibling doesn't seem to rise to the level of reportability that would create a negative impact.
All of this is personal opinion only.

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Author: JAFO31 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5617 of 5741
Subject: Re: Inheritance and SSI Date: 3/30/2012 1:37 PM
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IIRC, "Special Needs Trust" is the term of art that you might wish to search and could have been something that your father might have considered.

PS: A quick Google search located this site:

http://www.nsnn.com/frequently.htm --- and many more, but I am not vouching for it or anything that it recites.

Regards, JAFO

Still not legal advice.

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Author: Ezlington Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5618 of 5741
Subject: Re: Inheritance and SSI Date: 4/29/2012 2:26 AM
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