Special Needs Trusts

Plan for your loved one's security - now and in the future...

Special Needs Trusts  or "Supplemental Needs" Trusts (SNT’s) allow a disabled beneficiary to receive gifts, lawsuit settlements, or other funds without losing his or her eligibility for certain government programs. These trusts are drafted so that the funds will not be considered to belong to the beneficiary when eligibility for public benefits is being determined.

Special Needs Trusts are designed to pay for comforts and luxuries that can not be paid for by public assistance funds. Some examples of such comforts and luxuries are education, recreation, counseling, and medical attention, beyond the simple necessities of life.

Special Needs Trusts are not intended to provide for basic needs, however, the trustee can use special needs trust funds for food, clothing, and shelter if the trustee decides that doing so is in the best interest of the beneficiary.  Under such circumstances, a loss or reduction in public assistance is possible.

Some of the things that an SNT can provide for are the following:

  1. medical and dental expenses
  2. annual independent check-ups
  3. specialized equipment (such a specially equipped van)
  4. training and education
  5. insurance
  6. transportation
  7. essential dietary needs

If you are looking to create a Special Needs Trust, it is very important to hire an attorney with expertise in Supplemental Needs Planning, because it is essential that a trust not be unnecessarily inflexible and generic. Although an attorney with some knowledge of trusts can protect almost any trust from invalidating your loved one's public benefits, an attorney without this experience may not properly customize the special needs trust fund to your loved one's particular needs, and he/she may not receive the benefits that you provided when you were alive.

Contact the experts at Newman Elder Law today to see how a Special Needs Trust can protect your loved one now and in the future.