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What is a Special Needs Trust?

The primary purpose of a Special Needs Trust (SNT) is to preserve government benefits for disabled or aged beneficiaries.

In order to receive benefits from the government, the recipient must have resources and income below a certain level to qualify. A properly designed and administered SNT can provide funds to supplement a disabled or aged beneficiary’s government benefits without interfering with or disqualifying government aid.

The terms of an SNT are mostly controlled by public benefits law. An SNT should be designed to preserve benefits – even if the law or the beneficiary’s condition changes during the term of the SNT. It is important for attorneys who draft SNTs to stay current on developments in the law to be able to adequately advise new clients and trustees.

An SNT is generally used under these two circumstances:

1) Third-party SNTs are established by a parent or third party for the benefit of a disabled child or relative.

2) First-party SNTs are established with funds of the disabled person, such as a personal injury award.

To learn more about special needs trusts and how Chauvel & Glatt can build an SNT to ensure the security of your disabled beneficiary, contact us today.


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