Family Wealth Ideas: What is a Self-Settled Special Needs Trust?
Q: What is a Self-Settled Special Needs Trust?
A: A Self-Settled Special Needs Trust is set up with funds of a special needs person who is receiving government benefits. The goal of a Self-Settled Special Needs Trust is to make funds available for extra expenses of a person who is receiving government benefits for a disability, without disqualifying the beneficiary for those government benefits. In Missouri some of the magic words to create a special needs trust are that the trust is intended to “supplement” rather than “supplant” the government benefits. Upon the death of the special needs beneficiary the funds in the trust must be available to reimburse the government for benefits provided, and as a practical matter usually the entire trust goes to the government at that time. (The requirements to make a Special Needs Trust effective are more complicated than this simple explanation.)
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David Heilich, Member in Charge, Family Wealth Planning Group
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