Special Needs Trusts by Thomas J. Bonasera & Michael A. Renne

This article is currently being updated but I thought to post it anyways now and supplement it later. Tom Bonasera and Mike Renne regularly speak all over Ohio on the topic of special needs trusts and special needs planning and they freely give this article out for educational purposes. I am posting it here for the same reason.

I have seen firsthand the good that these trusts can do and, though most of the special needs planning practitioners in the country appear to be elder law specialists, our unique skills at fiduciary representation and estate planning give us a different and useful perspective.

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  • From the article:

    In 1993, as part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (OBRA ‘93), Congress addressed how self-settled trusts are to be treated in determining Medicaid eligibility. Congress mandated that an individual’s assets held in trust are to be counted as resources in determining his or her eligibility for Medicaid. This mandate includes irrevocable trusts if there are any circumstances under which payment from the trust could be made to or for the benefit of the individual. These laws are codified at 42 U.S.C. 1396p(d). Congress created exceptions to these rules for three types of trusts, one of which has come to be known as a “special needs trust.”

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