A properly structured Supplemental Needs Trust, also called Special Needs Trusts, enables you to preserve assets for a disabled beneficiary while maintaining eligibility for governmental program benefits.
- In 1993, Congress enacted a law that entitled disabled individuals to derive the same estate planning benefits as non-disabled individuals.
- The law created Supplemental Needs Trusts. These enable you to leave any amount of money to a loved one who has special needs without affecting their eligibility for the state or federal benefits they receive, as long as certain requirements are met.
- Essential benefits under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid programs provide only for the bare necessities such as food, housing and clothing.
- A Special Needs Trust can provide your loved one with resources that would allow them to enjoy a richer quality of life.
- Establishing a Supplemental Needs Trust for a chronically ill or disabled beneficiary in advance of receiving a gift, bequest, or settlement will enable those funds to be transferred immediately to the Trust without affecting eligibility for benefits.
- A Special Needs Trust protects your disabled beneficiaries from potential creditors and predators.