Primer on Special Needs Trusts

by Diane Weinberg

Last week, I received my first phone call about the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, new legislation creating a type of special needs trust for individuals with disabilities. A financial planner called me about a client who was concerned that he was going to have to liquidate certain assets of his special needs child to comply with the terms of the Act. The good news is that his client did not need to liquidate any of his child’s accounts, and we were able to explain where the ABLE Act fit into the special needs planning world.

There has been a lot of confusion about the ABLE Act and how it impacts the special needs planning world. It was touted as a trust that would eliminate the need for attorneys to practice in this area. The good news (for me) is that it does not; it creates a new type of special needs trust that will benefit special needs individuals in certain situations.

To understand the place of the ABLE Act in the special needs planning world, it is important to become familiar with the trusts that form the foundation of special needs planning – the self-settled special needs trust (also called a first party or D4A trust), the third party supplemental needs trust, and the community pooled trust. This month’s video version of the Passionate Estate Planner is a primer addressing these three types of trusts. If you need more basic information about trusts generally, please see the article on the Morgan DiSalvo website written by Loraine DiSalvo, What Is A Trust?

Next month, we will address the ABLE Act and how it fits into the special needs planning world. And there is a twist. The ABLE Act has caused the special needs community to review other types of statutory-created trusts, and we have identified one that may also benefit our special needs client. But you will have to wait until next month’s newsletter to learn more about this option.

After the video, if you have additional questions or want to schedule an appointment to speak with Diane Weinberg about special needs trusts or about planning for special needs individuals generally, please call our office at 678-720-0750. Enjoy the January video presentation of the Passionate Estate Planner.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Request a Consultation

Scroll to Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.