Special Needs Trust Administration

Establishing a Special Needs Trust

Special Needs Trusts are used to improve the quality of life of an individual with a disability without disqualifying him or her from receiving public benefits.

Trust & Wealth Partners’ professional staff includes specialists who are trained and experienced in navigating the many challenges to provide superior solutions for the trust beneficiary.

Our Special Needs Practice is led by Debbie Schultz

Debbie has earned and holds a Chartered Special Needs Consultant (ChSNC) certification and has dedicated her 30 year career to working with families and their loved ones with disabilities. She and the TWP team  focus on building strong personal relationships with clients to ensure that their preferences are considered, and their needs are met. Debbie is known for her compassionate commitment to providing creative solutions to complicated problems, and to improving our clients’ quality of life. This is often accomplished through collaboration with a team of health care, investment and other professionals.

As a corporate trustee, we are knowledgeable and stay current with the complex eligibility rules applicable to special needs trusts and the several benefits for which a beneficiary may qualify. In addition, a corporate trustee serves as an impartial advocate for the individual with a disability, which often maintains harmony in the family.

The three types of special needs trusts where a beneficiary may receive means-tested benefits are:

Self-Settled or First Party Trusts

Self-Settled or First-Party Special Needs Trusts are most often used when the individual with a disability receives a court settlement. They are established by the individual, or for the benefit of the individual by a parent, grandparent, legal guardian of the individual, or by the court. The trust is funded with the beneficiary’s own funds, and the individual must be disabled pursuant to the Social Security definition of “disability” (42 U.S.C. § 1382c(a)(3)). The trust must contain Medicaid payback provisions and must be funded before the beneficiary turns 65 years old. Self-Settled Special Needs Trusts are authorized under 42 U.S.C. § 1396p(d)(4)(A).

Third Party Special Needs Trusts

Third-Party Special Needs Trusts are commonly used by persons planning in advance for a loved one with special needs. The parents of an individual with disabilities, a grandparent, a sibling, or any other person (other than the beneficiary) may establish the trust. There are no Medicaid payback provisions or obligation when the trust is solely funded with resources from third parties and not from the beneficiary.

Pooled Trusts

Pooled Trusts are often used for small trusts. A separate account is maintained for each beneficiary. However, the resources of many beneficiaries may be pooled together, and those resources are typically managed by a non-profit association. Pooled Special Needs Trusts are authorized under 42 U.S.C. § 1396p(d)(4)(C).