Troubleshooting Legal Problems

What is a special needs trust in Pennsylvania?

Caring for a loved one with special needs requires thoughtful planning and hard work, especially when it comes to ensuring their long-term financial stability and well-being.

Pennsylvania families have the option of creating a special needs trust to protect and financially provide for a disabled individual.

What is a special needs trust?

A special needs trust, also called supplemental needs trust, is a legal arrangement for individuals with disabilities. This arrangement allows them to receive assistance while preserving their eligibility for government programs and benefits.

Its purpose is to enhance the individual’s quality of life without jeopardizing eligibility for means-tested government programs, such as Medicaid.

Special needs trusts act as a supplemental resource to cover expenses not covered by public benefits or government programs.

How can a special needs trust help?

A beneficiary of a special needs trust can receive assets from the trust to cover anything beyond what they receive from government programs and benefits.

What type of things can a special needs trust cover that a government program may not?

While every case is different and government programs change frequently, special needs trusts can provide disabled individuals with:

  • Therapies
  • Assistive technology devices
  • Transportation
  • Recreational activities
  • Home care
  • Home alterations

Appointing a trustee

You will need to designate a trustee when you create a special needs trust. This individual will ensure that the funds inside the trust are used for the purposes intended and will protect the interests of your beneficiary.

Carefully choosing a trustee is critical to ensuring your assets are secure and used for the intended purposes.

Ensuring the care of a special needs family member or loved one can be a challenging process. Creating a special needs trust allows you to set aside funds to enhance their quality of life and provide supplemental financial support.