Why every will needs a supplemental needs trust provision
Your client asks why her 35-year-old bipolar daughter no longer qualifies for SSI or Medicaid and has been warned to leave her Section 8 apartment.
It turns out that the client’s recently deceased brother left $50,000 to each nephew and niece, making the daughter ineligible for key government benefits.
As often happens with incapacitating disorders, the daughter's schizophrenia didn't manifest until later in life. But, as Carl M. Webber and J. Amber Drew explain in the latest ISBA Elder Law newsletter, "[a]ny beneficiary can become disabled at any time. A will speaks as of the future date of death and should protect beneficiaries who may become disabled during the time between the execution of the will and the death of the testator."
How to do it? "In all cases, a will should include a paragraph that allows the executor to set up Supplemental Needs Trusts, if, at the time of the death of the testator, any beneficiaries qualify under the Social Security Administration’s definition of 'disabled,'” they write. Find out more and view a sample trust provision.