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Should you have a supplemental needs trust?

On Behalf of | Apr 13, 2022 | Trusts

A supplemental needs trust (SNT) benefits family members who may not be able to care for themselves after your death. Whether you want to provide for your disabled spouse or special needs adult child, these trusts offer long-term benefits.

Pennsylvania’s Office of General Counsel requires special approval for all SNTs, so these trusts are only available to qualified beneficiaries.

What is a supplemental needs trust?

A supplemental needs trust is a fund you can create for a family member that may need extra financial care after you die. These trusts allow you to designate a third-party trustee to manage the fund instead of the beneficiary. This arrangement is essential as your heir may not have the capacity to manage their money. Funds in the trust usually do not go directly to the beneficiary. Instead, the trustee can pay for necessities such as:

  • Medical equipment
  • In-home caretakers
  • Home modifications
  • Special camps or adult daycare
  • Therapy
  • Medications

What are the benefits of a supplemental needs trust?

Disabled adults often don’t hold jobs or have a steady source of income, but they might still require above-average medical care. Government-sponsored medical insurance and supplemental income are essential financial resources for disabled adults, but such programs are for those with limited income.

An SNT can help because the government does not include funds in this type of trust as income when determining eligibility for benefits. Your beneficiary has access to state-provided health insurance and supplemental income while also having the trust to pay for other essential items.

Creating a supplemental needs trust ensures your beneficiary receives all of the financial support available to them after you die.