Special Needs Planning: Understanding Special Needs Trusts and Guardianships - Genser Cona Elder Law
Special Needs Planning

Special Needs Planning: Understanding Special Needs Trusts and Guardianships

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Creating an estate plan is important for everyone. However, for families with a special needs child, proper planning is nothing short of critical. Understanding the types of Special Needs Trusts is the best place to start to protect your loved ones.

Creating a Last Will and Testament should be the first order of business for parents of a child with special needs. It is important to make sure that your child’s inheritance is directed into a Supplemental Needs Trust (also called a Special Needs Trust or "SNT") for the child’s benefit. SNTs permit disabled individuals to retain funds from an inheritance without eliminating or reducing government benefits, such as Medicaid or SSI benefits. SNTs are highly favored under the law but have very particular rules. It is important to know which trust is right for you and your family as well as the consequences of each.

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Third Party Special Needs Trusts

Third Party SNTs are special needs trusts established by an individual such as a parent or grandparent with their assets for the benefit of a third party, such as a child or grandchild with special needs. Learn more.

Self-Settled Supplemental Needs Trusts

This type of SNT is funded with the assets of the person with special needs and is a payback trust. Learn more.

Expenditures from SNTs​

Monies held in an SNT can be used to pay for vacations, transportation, purchase of a home, special medical or therapeutic equipment, and medical care not provided by government programs. Learn more.

Pooled Trusts

A pooled trust is a type of SNT that is maintained by a non-profit organization which pools the funds of a number of individuals for investment and management purposes. Learn more.

17A Guardianships

If parents wish to continue to make healthcare and financial decisions for a special needs child after age 18, they must become the legal guardian for their child. Learn more.

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As always, contact us if you have any questions. Our Elder Law attorneys are always available to address your questions and concerns. Call us at 631.390.5000 or click here.

About the Author Genser Cona Elder Law

Genser Cona Elder Law is a full service law firm based in Melville, LI. Our firm concentrates in the areas of elder law, estate planning, estate administration and litigation, special needs planning and health care facility representation. We are proud to have been recognized for our innovative strategies, creative techniques and unparalleled negotiating skills unendingly driven toward our paramount objective - satisfying the needs of our clients.

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