Special Needs Trust

News & Analysis as of

Writing a Memorandum of Intent for Your Child With Special Needs

How can you ensure that your child will remain well cared for and secure once others assume the role of guardian or caregiver? While creating a financial plan and establishing a specialized trust are central to preparing for...more

How to Make Distributions to an SNT Beneficiary Without Disrupting Their SSI

When serving as the trustee of a special needs trust, it is crucial to be careful when making distributions for the benefit of the trust beneficiary. This is particularly true if the beneficiary receives Supplemental...more

New Law for Special Needs Trusts Now Benefiting Individuals

The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act - On December 13, 2016, President Barack Obama signed into law the 21st Century Cures Act. Buried in this law is the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act– a sentence long provision to...more

21st Century Cures Act Remedies Longstanding Special Needs Trust Issue

On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act. One of the more relevant aspects of the law to estate and special needs planning is found in Section 5007 of the Act, which is called “Fairness in...more

Individuals with Special Needs Can Now Create First Party Trusts

President Obama just signed a new law that allows First Party Special Needs Trusts to be established by mentally competent individuals for their own benefit. This is a major “fix” to the current law which only allows First...more

Tax-Advantaged Savings Accounts for Individuals with Special Needs Finally Available in Rhode Island

In 2014, new federal legislation was enacted to help relieve the financial strain often faced by so many individuals with disabilities or special needs. The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (“ABLE Act”) was signed into...more

Special Needs Trusts Through the Lens of a Financial Planner

I met recently with my friend and advisor, Lauren Pearson, CFP®, to learn more about Special Needs Trusts. Lauren is a managing director and partner at HighTower Twickenham, an industry leading wealth management firm. Lauren...more

Special Needs Fairness Act

On December 14, 2016, President Obama signed the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act into law amended federal law to enable disabled individuals to establish their own first-party payback Special Needs Trusts under 42 U.S.C. §...more

Make Sure Your Estate Plan Doesn't Put Your Child at Risk

Most parents of children with special needs are well versed when it comes to the government benefits like Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) that their child receives. Most know not to give the child any money...more

The Top 7 Reasons to Establish a Special Needs Trust

Special needs trusts (SNTs) can play an important role in helping families plan for children with special needs. Here are some of the most compelling reasons to speak with your attorney about establishing an SNT....more

Special needs trusts: estate planning for individuals with disabilities

Families with special needs children require an estate plan that takes into consideration benefits and services from public sources. The family’s attorney should have experience drafting trusts for disabled individuals and...more

Choosing an Investment Adviser for a Special Needs Trust

Trustees of special needs trusts have a duty to properly manage the funds in their care. However, most trustees, especially non-professional ones, are not sophisticated investors and they should not be directly managing the...more

House Overwhelmingly Passes SNT Fairness Act

The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, a bill that would allow people with disabilities to create their own first-party special needs trusts without having to rely on others, has passed the House of Representatives by a vote...more

SC Court of Appeals Holds that Intervenor Rights Trump Plaintiff's

Order which adds a party is really an order granting intervention - Introduction - The South Carolina Court of Appeals recently released the decision of Dorn v. Cohen, Op. No. 5432 (S.C.Ct. App. filed Aug. 3,...more

How to Recognize and Prevent Abuse of People with Special Needs

For a variety of reasons, people with special needs are more likely to suffer physical, mental and financial abuse than are others. Whether a physical disability prevents someone from protecting himself from bullying or a...more

Special Needs Trust Fairness Act Moves Out of House Committee

The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, a bill that would correct a decades-old error in federal law that prohibits people with special needs from creating their own special needs trusts, has passed out of the House Energy and...more

The Top Five Responsibilities of a Trustee of a Special Needs Trust

If you are considering taking on the responsibility of serving as the trustee of a special needs trust, you will probably have questions about the trustee's role. Trustees of special needs trusts have many important...more

Using a Special Needs Trust in the Settlement of a Product Liability Lawsuit

Product liability cases frequently involve severe and even catastrophic injuries. As a result, product liability defense counsel and insurance adjusters must be familiar with the prospects for use of a special needs trust as...more

New SSA Policy Makes It Easier to Understand Why Your Special Needs Trust Was Rejected

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently issued an Emergency Message to all personnel requiring workers to specifically inform Supplemental Security Income (SSI) applicants or beneficiaries of the reasons a special...more

Corporate E-Note - February 2016

With the start of the 2016 tax reporting season, taxpayers making certain payments to a person or entity with a Tennessee address may find that Tennessee has added to the number of information returns they need to...more

Gifts to a Special Needs Trust Can Be Larger Than You May Think

The federal gift tax system is one of the most misunderstood concepts in special needs planning, and for good reason: it's incredibly complicated. This complexity has resulted in the propagation of one of the most common...more

Burr Alert: Our Military and Special Needs Trusts for Dependents

Prior to 2015, members of and retirees from the military could not designate any portion of their military Survivor Benefit Plan ("SBP") to a special needs trust ("SNT"), even when a child of that service member needed the...more

Pooled Special Needs Trust Accused Of Overspending on Legal Fees

An Indiana-based pooled special needs trust has been accused of passing along some $2.4 million in legal fees to the trust beneficiaries without explaining what the fees were actually used for. A pooled special needs...more

Adults with Special Needs May Soon Be Able to Streamline the Process to Establish First Party Special Needs Trusts on Their Own: A...

In 1993, Congress enacted Section 1917(d)(4)(A) of the Social Security Act, authorizing the establishment of special needs trusts (also called first-party trusts and self-settled trusts). First-party special needs trusts...more

Senate Passes Special Needs Trust Fairness Act; Focus Shifts to House

The Senate has unanimously approved the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, a bill that would allow people with disabilities to create their own first-party special needs trusts without having to rely on others. Now that...more

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