Some New Yorkers who are creating an estate plan may be concerned about how they will take care of a family member with disabilities. These disabilities may include genetic disorders, cerebral palsy, bipolar disorder or autism spectrum disorder, and they may be congenital or the result of an injury.
Many people who suffer from disabilities get government assistance, but it is necessary for a person to have assets under a certain amount to qualify. With a special needs trust, the assets do not belong to the beneficiary, so they are not counted toward the maximum and do not affect the person's access to benefits. Money in a special needs trust can support a person in a variety of ways including with daily care and education.