Articles Tagged with saratoga springs special needs trust


The federal Department of Health and Human Services estimates that there are currently approximately 600,000 frozen embryos in the United States and the number continues to grow each year. Of these, it is estimated that approximately 60,000 could be implanted for full term pregnancy. In still other cases, a father or mother may freeze and store some sperm or eggs for future family planning purposes. In either event, a mother must have artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization or the embryo implanted. It is possible, even likely, that some of these embryos may be implanted and born after the passing of the father or mother with the use of a surrogate mother. The legal rights of these posthumously conceived children are still being fleshed out in legislatures and courtrooms throughout the country. In 2012, the United State Supreme Court dealt with rights of a posthumously conceived child to the Social Security survivor’s benefits of the deceased parent in Astrue v. Capato.


Maintaining government eligibility for a disabled child or family member is extremely important for their long term care needs because such programs will often be the primary source for medical care throughout their life. A special needs trust is a way to supplement the needs of a child or loved one without risking program eligibility. Special needs trusts include self-settled trusts (grantor and beneficiary are the same person) and third-party trusts.

Establishing a Special Needs Trust

In many ways a special needs trust is established just like many other kinds of trusts. Special needs trust differ with respect to some specific provisions on the use and disposition of trust assets. Any special needs trust should clearly illustrate the purpose of establishing the special needs trust as providing supplemental benefits for the disabled beneficiary without compromising or reducing benefits received through government programs. The terms of the trust should also take into account the source of the trust assets. If a special needs trust is self-settled and funded with the beneficiary’s assets, the trust document must adequately address the requirements of New York and  federal law relating to the treatment of trust accounts and benefits under state plans. Special needs trusts that are settled and funded by parties other than the beneficiary need to provide for discretionary distributions of the trust assets for supplemental support so as to avoid being classified as assets available to the special needs beneficiary. Assets available to the special needs beneficiary will be counted as resources for means-testing for government benefit programs. Other important features of a special needs trust include requirements that the trustee:

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