Special Needs and Supplemental Needs Trusts

Families who have a loved one with a disability, receiving SSI income or has special needs should pay particular attention to their estate plan.

When developing a Special or Supplemental Needs Trust, it is important to keep needs based governmental benefits in mind. Standard trusts often can cause an individual from becoming ineligible to receive SSI disability income, Medicaid benefits.housing, or food benefits.



Those with disabilities are especially vulnerable to the risk of losing an inheritance.  The risks include divorce, creditors, poor money management skills, predators who would take advantage of the situation.




There should also be a plan for advocacy for the individual.  The Trustee should be required to consult with the beneficiary or their legal representative.  Perhaps having the Trustee consult with certain family members would be appropriate.  There should always be a way to remove an unresponsive trustee.