A: Special Needs Trusts are designed to supplement, but not supplant, the means-based government assistance and benefits that your loved one is receiving! The language of the SNT establishes that the trust funds are to be used only for specific purposes to improve the beneficiary’s quality of life, such as caretaker services, “non-countable assets” like a primary residence or car, fitness equipment, yard care, etc. Most means-based assistance programs require the recipient to have under $2,000 of cash to their name, hence the importance of re-routing the inheritance into the SNT, which is not considered an asset of the SNT beneficiary. If you want to maximize your special needs beneficiary’s quality of life and continued ability to qualify for assistance, make sure you ask your favorite estate planning attorney about the possibility of creating a special needs trust!
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