Special Needs Planning

What is Special Needs Planning?

Special Needs Planning is used to help care and provide for individuals with disabilities. Helping these individuals with financial decisions can be accomplished through the form of a Guardianship or a Power of Attorney. A major focus of Special Needs Planning is estate and benefit planning for the disabled individual.

What is a Supplemental Needs Trust?

A Supplemental Needs Trust or a Special Needs Trust is a trust set up for the benefit of an individual with disabilities.  The trust is created to comply with federal and state laws and the purpose of the trust is to not interfere with that individuals right to receive governmental  benefits like SSI or Medicaid. The trust is used to supplement the care and benefits received from Medicaid, Social Security, or some other governmental benefit program.

What is a first party Supplemental Needs Trust?

A first party supplemental needs trust is a trust set up using the funds of the disabled person to create the trust.  Many times these funds are from the proceeds of a personal injury action. The funds in the trust do not disqualify the beneficiary from governmental benefits and are used to supplement Medicaid during the life of the beneficiary. At the death of the beneficiary, the remainder of the funds in the first party Supplemental Needs Trust are used to reimburse Medicaid.

What is a third party Supplemental Needs Trust?

A third party supplemental needs trust is a trust created using the funds of someone other than the beneficiary (e.g. Parents, Grandparents, Sibling). With a third party supplemental needs trust there is no payback provision to Medicaid at the death of the beneficiary and the remaining funds can then be left to whomever the person who created the trust designates.