What is a Special Needs Trust?

Special Needs Trusts and Supplemental Needs Trusts are created to preserve the eligibility for government benefits of a person with special needs. The Trust is funded by inheritance, personal injury settlement and awards or wrongful death settlement and awards. The funds in the Trust must be used to supplement, not replace the government benefits the person is receiving. The Trustee of the Trust, who cannot be the person with special needs, should make distributions only to enhance the care and quality of life of a beneficiary.

 

Why do I need a Special Needs Trust?

If the person is entitled to receive government benefits or may need to qualify for government benefits in the future and they accept or receive funds from an inheritance, settlement or award, it may cause them to become ineligible to receive the benefits. By funding these Trusts with their inheritance, settlement or award and naming someone else to act as Trustee, the Trust funds would not count as their asset even though they would be the beneficiary of the Trust. These trusts are meant to preserve their government benefit eligibility while preserving the assets of a person with special needs.

 

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