Toward the end of 2016 the Senate approved a new law, the 21st Century Cures Act that had a huge impact on Special Needs Trusts and adults with developmental & physical disabilities. The new law included the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act which states individuals with disabilities can now create their own special needs trust (if they have the correct mental competence).
A special needs trust is used to protect various government benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, and other means-tested benefits while also allowing the recipient to receive their inheritance after a parent or relative passes away.
Programs such as SSI and Medicaid restrict an applicant's maximum asset limitation to $2000. Special Needs trusts can be used as a way to set money aside and help the recipient pay for expenses not covered by those programs.
The old law was restrictive in nature only and allowed family members to establish a trust for a person with special needs. The law was based on the false idea that a person with a disability did not have the mental capacity to create their own trust document.
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If you have any question about a special needs trust or need any other estate planning help, we are here to guide you through the process. Contact us at (800) 403-6078 for a free phone Consultation today. Our team of expert attorneys looks forward to working with you.