A Florida Supplemental Needs Trust (SNT), also known as Florida Special Needs Trust, is a unique trust designed to benefit an individual with a disability. Supplemental Needs Trusts can be broken down into two categories, third party and self settled. In a well-executed SNT, an unlimited amount of assets can be placed in the trust for the benefit of a disabled person without jeopardizing their qualification for government benefits. These trusts are designed to provide for the extra care and costs above that which governmental benefits supply.
The self settled, or self created, supplemental needs trust has been officially recognized by Congress to benefit individuals under the age of 65, who have a physical or mental disability.
When creating a self settled SNT it is important to know that any assets remaining in the trust at the death of the disabled beneficiary will be used to reimburse the state for Medicaid benefits paid on behalf of the beneficiary. If there is a balance left over it will be distributed to the remainder beneficiaries identified in the trust document.
On the other hand, third party SNT can be created by anyone who is not obligated to support the beneficiary. As long as the third party SNT is irrevocable, the trust assets will not be a countable resource for Medicaid purposes. Explicit language must be used in this trust in order to guarantee the trust resources are not countable assets. In contrast to a self settled SNT, a third party SNT can distribute any remaining funds in the trust after the death of the disabled beneficiary to whoever the grantor designates as the remainder beneficiaries. There is no requirement to include the State for benefits received.
Very sensitive issues are involved when applying for government benefits such as Medicaid and Social Security. Asking for assistance from a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer or Jacksonville Estate Planning Lawyer can help you find comfort knowing that a Supplemental Needs is set up correctly.