Fratello Law

Supplemental Needs Trust Attorney Smithtown, NY

Dissabilities come with unique circumstances for trusts and estate planning. Our suopplemental needs trust attorneys are here to help.

New York’s Supplemental Needs Trust (SNT), also known as a Special Needs Trust, is a legal tool for individuals with disabilities that allows them to protect their assets while maintaining eligibility for government assistance programs like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). While a supplemental needs trust is highly beneficial for individuals with special needs, its complexities may deter some from incorporating the trust into their financial plan.

With an experienced Smithtown supplemental needs trust attorney at Fratello Law, you will have a compassionate and understanding team of professionals guiding you through the process and advising you as to the impact and requirements associated with trust planning. Our Smithtown supplemental needs trust lawyers understand how frustrating complex documentation and regulations can be and will discuss the options best suited to meet your unique circumstances and goals. Our family-oriented firm is small with a big heart, and our supplemental needs trust lawyers treat clients like family. If you are interested in learning how our firm can help you through the process, call (631) 406-5580 and speak with a team member today.

Who Qualifies for a Supplemental Needs Trust in New York?

A supplemental needs trust in New York is designed to provide for the additional needs of an individual with disabilities, without interfering with that individual’s governmental benefits. While every state has different guidelines for disabilities, the New York State Estates, Powers and Trusts Law Section 7-1.12(a)(4) provides the following definition:

“Person with a severe and chronic or persistent disability means a person: (i) with mental illness, developmental disability or other physical or mental impairment; (ii) whose disability is expected, or does, give rise to a long-term need for specialized health, mental health, developmental disabilities, social or other related services; and (iii) who may need to rely on government benefits or assistance.”

The SNT aims to provide financial support for disabled individuals to enhance their quality of life while ensuring they maintain eligibility for government benefits. If you are interested in setting up an SNT for yourself or your loved one, speak with an experienced special needs planning lawyer about your situation to help identify and evaluate your needs and goals.

First-Party SNT vs. Third-Party SNT: What Is the Difference?

After deciding to incorporate a supplemental needs trust into your financial planning, you must decide what type of trust and how best to fund the trust given your situation. In New York, there are two primary types of supplemental needs trusts:

First-Party SNT

Funded by the individual with a disability, First-Party Supplemental Needs Trusts are often used when the individual receives a significant sum of money, such as a personal injury settlement, inheritance, or other financial consolations. Once the assets are placed into the trust, the trustee—or the person managing the trust—will make decisions about how the funds are used to benefit the person with disabilities, who is also referred to as the beneficiary, without interfering with governmental benefits.

An important distinction with a first-party SNT is that upon the beneficiary’s death, any remaining funds in the trust are subject to a payback provision. This means Medicaid or other government agencies may be entitled to reimbursement for benefits provided during the beneficiary’s lifetime.

Third-Party SNT

Unlike a first-party SNT, a Third-Party Supplemental Needs Trust is created and funded by someone other than the beneficiary, such as a parent, grandparent, or other family member or loved one. Many people will typically establish a third-party SNT as part of an estate plan because the SNT is funded with the donor’s assets, such as cash, investments, or real estate.

The trustee has the authority to use the funds for the beneficiary’s supplemental needs without jeopardizing their eligibility for government benefits. Another distinguishing factor separating third-party SNTs from first-party SNTs is that generally there is no-payback requirement for a third-party SNT. This means any remaining funds can be distributed to other beneficiaries or charities upon the beneficiary’s death.

Determining which SNT works best for your situation and ensuring compliance with specific legal and program restrictions requires an in-depth understanding of New York State law. Working with an experienced special needs planning attorney in Smithtown is crucial when establishing a supplemental needs trust.

Schedule a free supplemental needs trust consult today.

Suffolk Office: (631) 406-5580
Nassau Office: (516) 321-4010

Why Work With a Fratello Law Supplemental Needs Trust Attorney?

Every person’s situation is unique and requires a thorough understanding of the financial goals, needs, governmental programs, and laws to establish a supplemental needs trust that will benefit the individual with special needs. Our Fratello Law supplemental needs trust attorneys will take the time to understand your family’s goals, financial situation, and the needs of your loved one, so they can provide personalized guidance and a comprehensive plan.

Creating a Supplemental Needs Trust involves drafting legal documents, including the trust agreement, and adhering to specific administrative processes. To ensure the supplemental needs trust is structured in compliance with current legal requirements, our team stays up-to-date on legislation changes and prepares your documents accurately and efficiently. If you have any questions regarding building an SNT for yourself or your loved one, speak with one of our experienced and compassionate Smithtown, NY supplemental needs trust attorneys, and we can help determine your best course of action.

Contact an Experienced Supplemental Needs Trust Attorney at Fratello Law

Collaborating with a Fratello Law Supplemental Needs Trust Attorney can provide you with the resources, guidance, and peace of mind necessary to navigate the complexities of special needs planning effectively. Our team has over 120 years of combined experience guiding individuals through complex estate planning decisions and documents. By utilizing our experience and community connections, our Smithtown supplemental needs trust lawyers provide clients with empathetic and honest counsel.

We are a small firm with a big heart and ensure our clients always know we have their best interests at heart. Schedule a no-cost consultation with a team member by calling (631) 406-5580 or completing our contact form today.