Special Needs Trusts/Supplemental Needs Trusts
A Special Needs Trust is a Trust established for the benefit of a person with disabilities. The purpose is to give the disabled person benefit of assets by placing them in a protected trust rather than leaving them in the disabled person’s possession which would hinder his/her ability to receive important governmental benefits.
If a trust is established by an individual with an individual’s own money (self-settled trusts), it will be considered available for purposes of determining the individual’s eligibility for public benefits unless the trust is drafted as a Special Needs Trust.
If a trust is established with the money of others for the benefit of an individual (third party trusts), it will be considered available to the individual for the purposes of determining the individual’s eligibility for benefits unless they are carefully worded as a Supplemental Needs Trust. Supplemental Needs Trust is the name commonly used for trusts established by third parties, primarily to differentiate them from Special Needs Trusts.