Switch to ADA Accessible Theme Nueva versión: Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Home / Supplemental Needs Trusts

Supplemental Needs Trusts: A Game-Changer in Estate Planning to Meet Specific, Special Needs

At Drude Tomori Law, we take great pride in our commitment to comprehensive estate planning, elder law, and probate law services. Our dedicated team, led by the talented and resourceful Rachel Drude-Tomori, is always on the lookout for innovative and effective strategies that fulfill our clients’ needs while considering their unique goals and family dynamics.

One particular area of focus that often requires our creative problem-solving skills is the establishment and management of Supplemental Needs Trusts (SNTs), also known as Special Needs Trusts. These trusts represent an important component of estate planning for many families, especially families with a loved one who has special needs.

What Is a Supplemental Needs Trust?

In simple terms, a Supplemental Needs Trust is a specific type of legal arrangement designed to benefit an individual who has a disability. This trust allows a person with a disability, who might require government assistance now or in the future, to receive or inherit assets without affecting their eligibility for public benefits such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

When assets are placed into a Supplemental Needs Trust, they are managed by a trustee for the benefit of the person with special needs (the beneficiary). Importantly, these assets are not considered part of the beneficiary’s personal assets for purposes of determining eligibility for government benefits.

The Value of a Supplemental Needs Trust in Estate Planning

In many cases, individuals with special needs rely on government benefits for their daily living and medical expenses. However, these benefits are often only available to persons of severely limited financial means, and the recipients are often restricted from accumulating substantial assets lest they risk losing these benefits.

This is where Supplemental Needs Trusts come into play. By creating a properly structured SNT, parents or other relatives can leave assets to a loved one with special needs without jeopardizing their essential government benefits. The assets held in the trust can then be used to provide for the beneficiary’s supplemental needs, enhancing their quality of life without supplanting their necessary benefits.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Supplemental Needs Trusts

While SNTs can be an invaluable tool, it’s critical to understand their limitations and the specific rules governing their use.

The Do’s:

  • Asset Management: The trust can own a variety of assets, such as cash, real estate, and investments. These assets can be used for the beneficiary’s supplemental needs, such as education, therapy, recreation, and certain out-of-pocket medical expenses.
  • Flexibility: SNTs can be customized to suit the unique needs and lifestyle of the beneficiary.
  • Protection of Public Benefits: An appropriately structured SNT will not interfere with the beneficiary’s eligibility for public benefits.

The Don’ts:

  • Direct Payments: Trustees should avoid making direct payments to the beneficiary as this could jeopardize their eligibility for government benefits.
  • Basic Necessities: The trust cannot pay for food or shelter as these are considered to be basic needs that should be met by government benefits.
  • Control by Beneficiary: The beneficiary cannot have control over the trust assets or the discretion to make distributions.

Estate planning with a Supplemental Needs Trust can be complex, but with the guidance of an experienced attorney, it can be a crucial tool in providing for a loved one with special needs. Rachel Drude-Tomori takes the time to truly listen and understand what her clients want and need. With her knack for creative problem-solving and dedication to custom solutions, Rachel can assist you in designing a Supplemental Needs Trust that meets your family’s specific needs, goals, and dynamics.

Should Your Estate Plan Include a Supplemental Needs Trust?

Choosing to establish a Supplemental Needs Trust is a significant decision that requires careful consideration and skilled legal guidance. At Drude Tomori Law, we are committed to helping you navigate this complex but rewarding process. With our expert knowledge and genuine understanding of your family’s unique dynamics, we’ll help you create a trust that can greatly enhance your loved one’s quality of life while preserving the benefits they depend on.

Every family’s situation is different, and there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution when it comes to estate planning. But rest assured, with the right approach and the help of dedicated professionals, you can successfully build a safe and secure future for your loved one with special needs.

At Drude Tomori Law, PA, we do more than just draft documents. Our goal is to provide you with peace of mind knowing that you’ve made the best possible arrangements for the care of your loved one. We listen, we understand, and we craft solutions tailored to your specific needs. Let Rachel Drude-Tomori and our dedicated team assist you in planning for the future with confidence.

Contact Drude Tomori Law Today

Don’t leave the future of your loved one to chance. Make the decision today to explore the potential benefits a Supplemental Needs Trust may provide. Contact us at Drude Tomori Law in St Petersburg, and let us be your partner in designing an estate plan that leaves no room for uncertainty.

Remember, it’s not just about planning for the future, it’s about crafting a legacy of care that will endure. Trust us to help you make this possible.

Share This Page:
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn