Estate Planning

Click here for an FAQ on how guardianship and Supplemental Needs Trusts inter-relate and can improve quality of life and independence for your loved one with a disability.

Supplemental Needs Trusts

Supplemental needs trusts can be a very useful tool for persons with disabilities. When properly drafted, these trusts can allow for a person with disabilities to continue to qualify for benefits, while allowing for a trustee to provide for supplemental needs and services through the assets contained within the trust. A trust created with the person with disabilities’ assets are sometimes called “payback” trusts and provide for the government agencies to be “paid back” for monies distributed during the person’s lifetime for his/her support and maintenance. A trust can also be created with assets of a third party. The assets of the person with disabilities and assets of a third party should not be commingled into a single trust. There are many factors to consider when deciding whether a supplemental needs trust is appropriate for your family situation. It is strongly recommended that you seek the advice of a professional or professionals before making this important decision.

Estate Planning

The careful drafting of estate planning documents, like a will or trust, is especially crucial when a family member is disabled. Leaving an inheritance to a person with disabilities who is receiving government benefits could jeopardize or limit those benefits. However, there are alternatives other than simply disinheriting that person. If you have a family member that is disabled and is currently or may in the future receive government benefits, it is strongly recommended that you seek the advice of a professional or professionals.