When the rules for special needs trusts were established in 1993, only a parent, grandparent, legal guardian, or a court could establish special needs trusts for disabled individuals. On December 7, 2016, the United States Senate passed the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, which has been sent to President Obama for signature. It is anticipated that the President will sign the Act, which will allow individuals to create their own special needs trusts without the unnecessary delay and expense of petitioning the Court. If enacted, the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act will allow disabled individuals who are capable of managing their financial affairs to establish trusts on their own behalf and preserve government benefits.
This change will add greater flexibility to disabled individuals as it has prevented some people from establishing these trusts in the past.
The attorneys at Timoney Knox are experienced in working with special needs trusts, and have drafted and represented over one hundred special needs trust clients. If you have a question about a special needs trust, please contact us at (215) 646-6000.