Trusts are effective estate planning tools because they help New York residents protect the value of their end of life assets all while legally transferring property and wealth to the beneficiaries of their choosing. Trusts can be used for many purposes, such as supporting charities and avoiding burdensome taxes. They can also be used to assist in the financial support of individuals who rely on government benefits to get by.
Trusts that accomplish this goal are known as special needs trusts. Generally they are created for individuals who receive support in the form of various government benefits. Often when a person is the beneficiary of a funded trust they may not qualify for government help; the structure of a special needs trust protects these individuals from disqualification and allows them to receive their benefits despite the status as trust beneficiaries.
A special needs trust is designed to support the comfort and happiness of the beneficiary. The benefits that the person receives from the government may not cover all of their living requirements, and therefore the funds that they have access to through their special needs trust may be used to cover such costs. Individuals who have questions about what may be paid for with a special needs trust so that it does not violate any government benefits funding may want to talk to their estate planning attorneys.
Trusts may be established to meet different goals and may be structured in different ways to serve the needs of different beneficiaries. Since different trusts have different legal requirements for their structuring it is helpful to have legal help to include them in their estate plans.