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Special Needs Trusts « Patti’s Publications

Special Needs Trusts

Articles & Presentations
Patti has given about Special Needs Trusts

PLEASE NOTE: Unless otherwise indicated, the numbers and material used in the presentations and articles below are current as of 2008 and have not been updated any further at this time.


Update on Medicaid Planning Issues for People with Disabilities and Elders

  • ♦ Updates regarding the DSM-5 Proposed Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • List of Permissible Distributions
  • ♦ The ABLE Act of 2011
  • ♦ How and When to Use a Pooled Special Needs Trust

New Health Law Implications

  • New Health Law and Its Implications for Trustees of Special Needs Trusts
    (By Patricia E. Kefalas Dudek and Sanford J. Mall – Nov., 2010) 
  • From a presentation given at the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) Advanced Fall Institute: New advocacy opportunities contained within provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that will impact the lives of people with disabilities.

    Trustees of SNTs, their attorneys, people with disabilities and their families have traditionally needed to practice "constant vigilance" to assure Medicaid and Medicare coverage is used to the maximum extent possible before accessing private funds. The extensive changes coming from the Affordable Health Care Act will result in extensive additional confusion and error…so in light of these changes and the need to protect private resources, let's turn to the new health law and the changes which trustees of SNTs and their clients and advisors need to examine through a microscope. 

Public Benefits Eligibility and Special Needs Trusts for People With Disabilities

  • The material below was also presented at the November, 2010 National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) Advanced Fall Institute.
  • An individual with disabilities may be eligible for a wide range of public benefits and assistance programs. When drafting SNTs, it is important to be aware of what these programs entail and how one becomes eligible for public assistance.
  • Part One – Basics: Benefits Eligibility
  • Part Two – Basics: Special Needs Trusts
  • Part Three – Section 8 and Supportive Housing Issues
  • (Click here for entire presentation and attachments in one pdf document – 66 pages – 207KB)  

Adults with Disabilities: Prepare for the Future With a Special Needs Trust

Anatomy of a Special Needs Trust: Duty of Loyalty

  • Anatomy of a Special Needs Trust: Duty of Loyalty (Nov. 2008)
    This presentation was on behalf of NAELA and reviewed the complex relationships an attorney and/or trustee may have in drafting or administering a trust. There is a loyalty due to the Grantor or Settlor of the trust, as well as a level of responsibility to the beneficiaries.  

 Duties and Responsibilities of the Trustee of a Special Needs Trust

Benefits Checklist

  • SNT Checklist
    This checklist is used to determine if a special needs trust beneficiary is getting all the public benefits they can.

OBRA-93 Trust Options for Persons with Disabilities

  • OBRA-93 Trust Options for Persons with Disabilities (2005 revisions)
    Families who have a loved one with a disability have unique financial and estate planning needs. Parents are frequently concerned about who will look after their child with a disability if they, themselves, become disabled. Families further question who will care for their loved one after they are gone. Fortunately, families are learning that trusts exist which can provide for the needs of a loved one while preserving eligibility for various governmental benefits and services. 

Representing and Acting as Trustee of a Special Needs Trust

Special Needs Trusts, Public Benefits Eligibility and Housing Issues for People with Disabilities