Special Needs Trusts

Improve Disabled Beneficiaries’ Lives Without Compromising Government Assistance

Valley of Fire, Nevada

What is a Special Needs Trust

A trust structured to hold, protect, and distribute assets for the benefit of physically, mentally, and behaviorally diabled beneficiaries. Also known as a supplemental needs trust, a Special Needs Trust is a discretionary trust in which a trustee has absolute discretion with executing the trust.

A Nevada Special Needs Trust will provide a higher quality-of-life for your loved ones without disrupting government assitance, like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid programs.

Maintain Government Assistance

Family members have good intentions when leaving an inheritance to their disabled loved ones. However, doing so may easily disqualify their loved one from receiving their government aid income restrictions. Further, the owner, or grantor, of a trust will no longer qualify for government assistance as the assets in the trust are in the grantor’s estate.

By utilizing a properly structured special needs trust, a grantor may provide their disabled beneficiary with the intended support without impacting their government assistance. Also, using a corporate trustee to help make fiduciary decisions and distributions removes the burden from a family member and promotes family harmony.

Providing, or “Supplementing,” for a Better Life

Also known as a supplemental needs trust, to not compromise eligibility to government programs, a special needs trust is often used to fill the gaps of government assistance.

Typical Distribution-Based Supplemental Expenses

  • Out-of-pocket medical expenses
  • Hobbies and activities
  • Vacations
  • Consumer goods
  • Fitness
  • Nutrional needs
  • Religious-related expenses
  • Education

Supplementing your loved one’s life may enhance most aspects of their life.

Download this PDF to learn more

Asset Protection and Successive Planning

The range of disabilities is vast, and not all disabled beneficiaries receive government aid. A special needs trust has more advantages than preserving government assistance.

Nevada Asset Protection

In Nevada, a special needs trust, when structured appropriately, will give the trust’s assets the most protective asset protection in the United States. The assets will be safe from creditors including divorcing spouses.

Preserving and Successively Planning Assets

Often, special needs trusts have more assets than a disabled beneficiary may use in their lifetime, especially if distributions are limited because of government assistance. Assets dedicated to a disabled beneficiary may also create tension with the beneficiary’s siblings. 

Utilizing a trust structure, a Nevada Special Needs Trust will protect and preserve the assets until the beneficiaries passing. Upon passing, the assets may be allocated to distribute to siblings and/or placed into new trusts per the terms set by the grantor.

Click here to learn about different types of special needs trusts

Who You Choose as Trustee is Especially Important

By design, a special needs trust serves the disabled beneficiary. The trustee’s responsibilities go beyond managing distributions. The trustee must also prepare reports and keep detailed records that government programs require to recieive assistance. At times, the trustee may have advocate for the beneficiary and discuss the trust in court. Special needs trust drafting and execution is essential as governments regulate and monitor them more closely thanother trust structures.

A family member as trustee in sensitive situations often instinctively makes sense. However, utilizing a corporate trustee with experience may better serve the beneficiary and take pressure off of a family member trustee.

At Crawford Trust, we have trust officers specializing in special needs trusts that will give the beneficiary the empathy and passion needed to serve them to the grantor’s intentions.


Insights: A Deeper Dive into Nevada Trustee Services