Special Needs & Supplemental Trust Planning
Supplemental Needs Trusts, also known as “special needs” trusts, allow a disabled beneficiary to receive gifts, lawsuit settlements or other funds without losing eligibility for certain government programs and without requiring reimbursement to governmental agencies for benefits provided. Such trusts are drafted so that the funds will not be considered as owned by the beneficiary in determining eligibility for public benefits, ensuring the needs of the disabled individual are well served.
As the name implies, Supplemental Needs Trusts are designed not to provide basic support, but instead to pay for comforts and luxuries that are not available from public assistance. These trusts typically pay for things like education, recreation, counseling and medical attention beyond the simple necessities of life. However, the trustee can use trust funds for food, clothing and shelter if the trustee decides doing so is in the beneficiary’s best interest despite a possible loss or reduction in public assistance.
The estate planning attorneys at Lacy Katzen are experienced in establishing the various forms of supplemental needs trusts, which include:
- Third party supplemental needs trusts established by trust agreement or under a last will and testament
- Self-settled supplemental needs trusts established by the guardian or parent of a disabled person under a trust agreement
- Pooled trusts or pooled-income trusts