A supplemental needs trust is designed to preserve or qualify a beneficiary’s eligibility for government benefits (Supplemental Security Income [SSI], Medicaid, Section 8 Housing, etc.). The beneficiary of the supplemental needs trust is generally an individual with a disability, is receiving or is trying to qualify for government benefits, and needs long-term care. The supplemental needs trust allows the individual to qualify for the government benefits while retaining inherited property for his/her benefit.
Under the New York Estates Powers and Trusts Law (§7-1.12) it is presumed the supplemental needs trust intends that “neither principal nor income be used to pay for any expense which would otherwise be paid by government benefits or assistance for which the beneficiary might otherwise be eligible or which the beneficiary might be receiving […]”. Therefore, by placing property into a supplemental needs trust, you may provide a supplemental source of discretionary income for the special needs beneficiary, and it will not affect government benefits received by the beneficiary to pay for long-term care. Absent a supplemental needs trust, any inheritance would be used first to pay for care before any government benefits are received.
It is important to have attorneys in who understand the importance of and can properly draft your supplemental needs trust so that your loved one continues receiving government benefits. Our focus is to not only understand your needs and goals, but also ensuring you understand the complex issues. In this important process, you are as much involved in the drafting and implementing of the trust documents as we are.
The attorneys at James G. Dibbini & Associates, P.C. have over 20 years of experience in Wills, Trusts & Estates.
In order to learn more about how we can assist you with your Wills, Trusts and/or Estates matter, please feel free to contact us directly.