Special needs trusts are commonly used to protect assets of disabled persons who are under age 65 and seeking or trying to maintain eligibility for Medicaid and/or Supplemental Security Income. However, for years the law required these trusts to be created by a court, guardian or conservator, or parent or grandparent of the disabled person. On December 13, 2016, the President signed the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act which will now permit disabled persons who are competent to create their own special needs trusts.
It is a shame that this injustice took so long to correct. Thankfully, disabled persons will now have the same rights possessed by everyone else – the ability to create their own trust without having to ask a court, parent, or other designated person to create it for them.