Special Needs Trusts are a commonly used tool for people with disabilities set up by their parents or grandparents. They allow assets to be protected and ensure that the special needs individual will have the resources they need when their parents are no longer living and able to financially support them.
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.”