A special needs trust is a type of trust that will enable a person (or grantor) to create and set a fund to finance intelligently and as intended the treatment of another person (or beneficiary) suffering from severe disability and/or chronic illness. It is also possible, under New York law, for a grantor to create a special needs trust and name himself or herself as the beneficiary, but the special needs trust assets will be used to reimburse the government for public benefits received prior to the grantor/beneficiary life. The idea of  special needs trust is that a grantor will set and provide for the way the funds placed into the trust will be spent upon the grantor’s death for the benefit of an ill or disabled individual. The special needs trust will pay for the specific health needs and long term treatment of the beneficiary in order to afford and maintain to said beneficiary the highest quality of life, level of care, dignity and treatment continuity regardless of their prime caregiver’s death or incapacity to provide. It is important to note that most beneficiaries designated under a special needs trust lack the capacity to properly administer high sums they may receive and continue financing their medical treatment. Absent a special needs trust, there is a high risk these individuals would lack the knowledge and ability to preserve funds for their own medical treatment.

The usual trust requirements for a trust apply to a special needs trust under the applicable laws of New York. Additionally, there are certain requirements that are specific to a Special Needs Trust in New York. It is imperative to work with an experienced attorney when drafting your special needs trust because its validity is especially critical to the treatment of another or yourself.