Special Needs Trusts

Supplemental Needs Trust

A Special Needs Trust (SNT) is also called a Supplemental Needs Trust, they are typically created to provide benefits to elderly, disabled, mentally ill, other individuals who are unable to care for their own financial affairs now or in the future. A Special Needs Trust can protect assets set aside for the maintenance, health care, living expenses, long-term care, or other circumstances where the beneficiary is now, or in the future will be, unable to manage their own financial affairs.

Special Needs Trust


Special Needs Trusts are set up to hold assets, provide benefits for the beneficiary, and have tax and other financial benefits associated with their creation and structure. Proceeds from inheritance, personal injury awards, structured settlement, governmental or other supplemental insurance or benefit programs are often the types of assets placed into an Special Needs Trust for the benefit of an individual. Depending on the specific circumstances of the intended beneficiary, and the source(s) of the funds placed in the Special Needs Trust, there may be restrictions on who may be the designated Trustee(s) of the Trust.

Restrictions for Special Needs Trust

A third party may place their assets into a Special Needs Trust for an intended beneficiary, have the Trust administered by a qualified Trustee on behalf of the individual, and these proceeds may not be counted as income or held against the beneficiary with regard to eligibility for Medicaid, Social Security Disability (SSD) or other income limits or tax requirements of the beneficiary. By using a Special Needs Trust, supplemental money used for the care of an affected beneficiary may be provided without the proceeds from the Special Needs Trust reducing or disqualifying the beneficiary from existing or future government or other assistance programs.

The legal language required to be included in a third-party Trust varies from state to state. A properly created Special Needs Trust can also include provisions whereby government expenditures, such as Medicaid or SSD, are not required to be reimbursed to it from the proceeds of the Trust. After the death of the original intended beneficiary, there can be other benefits to the heirs of the original beneficiary. One of these includes the ability to inherit any assets remaining in the Special Needs Trust to pass to the beneficiary’s heirs without first having to repay the government for expenditures it made to the original beneficiary during their lifetime. The proper creation and structure of a Special Needs Trust can provide tax benefits that can accrue to the beneficiary, their estate and their heirs.

Special Needs Trust Attorney

As with many types of Trusts, the source of Trust assets, the specific type of Trust created, and the specific provisions in it are all critical in order to secure the benefits of creating a Special Needs Trust. Contact Smith Law Las Vegas to secure the intended benefits for your beneficiary and to avoid unintended or foreseeable consequences of either including or omitting the appropriate legal provisions applicable to an individual set of circumstances.

Contact Smith & Shapiro at one of our two convenient locations in Las Vegas or Henderson, Nevada. We are open from 8:00am – 5:00pm, Monday – Friday.
(702) 318-5033