For people with disabilities, special needs trusts are often a vital way to protect assets and ensure that they have the resources needed to meet their expenses. It has become common for parents of children with special needs to make these trusts a part of their estate plans.
But if a person with special needs wants to set up their own special needs trust, they cannot do so without first going to court and going through a long, complex process to get permission.
The Social Security Act provision that allows for these trusts is written such that only a person’s parents or grandparents can create the trusts. So, disabled people without living relatives able to create the trusts for them face a long, uphill battle to create the vital trusts.
Thus, it was a resounding victory for people with special needs when the Senate unanimously passed the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act that would allow people to create the trusts for themselves.
Special Needs Answers reported this development in “Senate Passes Special Needs Trust Fairness Act; Focus Shifts to House.”
Unfortunately, this legislation appears to be currently stuck in a House subcommittee. It is not expected to make it out of committee in the House without additional support. People who are interested in seeing this legislation passed should contact their representatives and encourage support of the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act.
Reference: Special Needs Answers (September 24, 2015) “Senate Passes Special Needs Trust Fairness Act; Focus Shifts to House.”