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New York Special Needs Trust

If you have a friend or family member that is mentally or physically disabled, you may be curious what a Special Needs Trust is. This is a type of Trust specifically created for the mentally or physically disabled. With a Special Needs Trust (sometimes called a Supplemental Needs Trust), money and assets are put into the Trust for your loved one. The Trust will protect those assets and allow your loved one to use and enjoy them, while at the same time not jeopardize any government benefits they might be receiving. These trusts are often created where the beneficiary has received a large sum of money, perhaps from a personal injury court settlement, or inheritance. The trust itself is usually handled by a family member or close friend and prepared by an Estate Attorney.

There are two types of Special Needs Trusts, the first being a First Party Supplemental Needs Trust. In this instance, a parent, family member or friend creates this trust for a person that is mentally or physically disabled, and under the age of 65. The creation of this Trust does not interfere with them receiving benefits such as Medicaid or Social Security. After the death of the beneficiary however, Medicaid has a right to recover money paid to the beneficiary during their lifetime from whatever is left over in the Trust.

The other type of Special Needs Trust is a Third Party Special Needs Trust. In this case a family member or friend creates a Trust for the disabled person, who can be any age. The beneficiary’s right to receive government benefits will not be jeopardized. Upon the death of the beneficiary the assets of the Trust are distributed pursuant to the instructions in the Trust, and the state cannot recover anything from Trust. You should check with a Probate Attorney to handle any residual matters for the estate.

These types of trusts are created to benefit a disabled or chronically ill person, while still allow them to collect any applicable governmental benefits. This may only be one component of an estate plan for your loved one, and other documents may be needed such as a Last Will and Testament, Durable Power of Attorney, or Advanced Health Care Directive, for instance. The Special Needs Trust must include particular language in order to be valid. As such, it is important that you consult with a qualified New York Estate Lawyer to formulate a comprehensive estate plan specially tailored to the needs of your loved one. The attorneys at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC are experienced in all aspects of Probate, Estate Administration and Estate Planning. Contact our office to receive not only sound legal advice, but a completely free, no-obligation consultation. We have offices throughout the New York Area, from Manhattan the Bronx and Queens, to Westchester County and Long Island. Contact us today at 800.696.9529.

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Mr. Bilkis handled both my father and mother's estate issues through very difficult times he was compassionate kind and understanding. In fact the whole firm showed great empathy. Despite the emotional hard time we were having that quickly and efficiently handle all the matters that were necessary to get us the result we desired. Can't recommend them enough. B.B.
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