When a person leaves an inheritance to or creates a trust for, a loved one with a disability or special need, those funds disqualify that loved one from valuable and sometimes irreplaceable benefits. 

So how do you protect a loved one and his or her benefits? 

The key is special needs or supplemental need trust. The purpose of a "special needs" or "supplemental needs trust" is to allow a disabled beneficiary to receive funds and still be qualified to receive government health and disability benefits such as Medicaid and Social Security Disability. 

Special needs trusts and supplemental needs trusts are often used interchangeably. However, there is a difference between the two.  A special needs trust limits distributions to items other than food and shelter while a supplemental needs trust does not limit any category of distribution as long as it does not disqualify the beneficiary of government benefits.

In order for assets in these SNT's (both special and supplemental needs trusts) to be protected for the beneficiary, without being an available resource that the government will look at to determine the eligibility of disability programs, the beneficiary must have no power to revoke or direct assets of the trust. 

The trust assets provide for the beneficiary’s supplemental needs. This type of trust can be used to increase the beneficiary’s quality of life. These trusts pay for things like education, recreation, counseling, and medical attention. Some common purchases made from an SNT can include vehicles, a home, and or a computer. For example, an aide can also be paid for from the trust’s assets so the disabled beneficiary can accompany the rest of the family on a vacation.

Special or supplemental needs trusts are a way you can care for a disabled loved one from now until the end of their life. Knowing that your loved one will have the things he or she needs or wants for the rest of their life is priceless.

Consider an SNT today to provide for your disabled loved ones tomorrow.  Contact our office to schedule a consultation at (610) 933-8069.

We represent clients in Chester County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Lancaster County and in communities such as, Philadelphia, Berwyn, Devon, Paoli, Exton, Phoenixville, West Chester, Malvern, Chester Springs, Ardmore, Gladwyne, and surrounding areas