Special Needs Trusts: The Basics


If you wish to provide for a loved one with either a medical or educational disability, a Special Needs Trust is usually the best option to achieve this goal.

It is a detriment to any person that receives public benefits (SSI, Medicaid, etc.) if they are provided money outright. Therefore, a Special Needs Trust is important in these circumstances, and they successfully avoid this dilemma.

By setting up a Special Needs Trust carefully, we select a Trustee who cares for your loved one, and provides for any supplemental needs with the trust fund. The Trustee makes sure that your loved one never actually touches the funds. This ensures that eligibility for public benefits will never be in jeopardy.

If you establish a Special Needs Trust for the benefit of another person, this is called a “Third Party Special Needs Trust.” With these types of trusts, the Pennsylvania government is not entitled to recover any assets (“estate recovery”) when the person dies. In other words, they cannot dip into whatever is leftover in the Special Needs Trust to cover the cost for any public benefits that were consumed.

A Special Needs Trust is a specialized tool and provides many benefits. If you have a loved one on public benefits that you wish to provide for, we can assist you.


Let our firm assist you: Our firm offers a complimentary estate plan review and consultation. Please call us today at (215) 706-0200 or email us.

Pass the word on: If you know someone who can benefit by reading this blog, please forward it on to them, or subscribe your friend or family member through this link.