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Special Needs Planning

Special Needs Trust

If you are the parent, guardian, or sibling of a person with a disability—or have a disability yourself—planning ahead is especially important. A special needs trust (SNT) allows you to set aside money for the care of a person with a disability (or your own care if you have a disability), without rendering the person with a disability ineligible for any public assistance to which he or she may be entitled.

Simply knowing that you have made arrangements to ensure your child or dependent is well cared for after you are gone can ease your mind. 

We can help you establish the right trust to protect your loved one or yourself.

Two Types of Special Needs Trusts

  • Third-party SNT—This type of trust is usually created by a parent or other relative of a person with a disability as part of a will or living trust. It can be revocable or irrevocable, and each is subject to specific tax regulations and other rules. The third-party SNT does not rely on the assets of the beneficiary for funding. It is funded solely by the trust creator, or grantor.
  • Self-settled trusts—This type of trust is helpful when there is an unexpected inheritance or medical malpractice or personal injury award. It must adhere to specific requirements, or it may adversely affect eligibility for certain public benefits. Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. allow the use of two different types of self-settled trusts: the (d)(4)(A) trust and the pooled trust. Both kinds of self-settled trusts are funded with the resources of the person with a disability.