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New York Special Needs Trusts

Family members and friends of individuals with special needs invariably want to build financial security for them. They want to ensure that their loved ones with special needs will enjoy a fulfilling lifestyle that includes vacations, cultural events, and the many small pleasures that can bring delight and comfort.

Special care must be taken, though, in setting aside funds for the well-being of individuals with special needs. Their eligibility for government benefits – often providing essential coverage of their medical and living expenses and access to community programs – can be jeopardized by gifts made directly to them. In order to qualify for public entitlements such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the individual must have minimal personal assets – no more than $2,000 in the case of SSI.

A special needs trust (SNT), also referred to as a supplemental needs trust, is an estate planning tool that protects funds intended to enrich the life of a loved one with special needs, while preserving eligibility for public benefits. The assets can be used to cover essentials not provided through entitlement programs – such as a private duty nurse or certain types of medical equipment – or for purchases that would otherwise enrich the beneficiary’s life – concert tickets, home furnishings, or summer camp. One or more trustees become responsible for the management and distribution of the resources held in trust.

NY Special Needs Trusts

A special needs trust can be established using assets that already belong to the individual with special needs (first party SNT) or that are being contributed by someone else (third party SNT). An inheritance, legal settlement, or financial gifts are typical sources for funding a special needs trust.

Our New York special needs planning attorneys have the experience, personal and professional, to offer sound advice as you plan a special needs trust for your loved one. Contact us today for a consultation.

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This article does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon. If you need legal advice concerning this or any other topic please contact our offices to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys at 914-684-2100 or 212-490-2020.