As you may have heard, Congress recently passed sweeping legislation aimed at funding medical research, facilitating the development of experimental medical treatments, and improving mental health care for all Americans. This new bill, known as the 21st Century Cures Act, is now heading to President Obama for his likely signature.
This bill is great news for all Americans. As an estate planning attorney, I am also thrilled with the bill for an additional reason – the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act. The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, included within the 21st Century Cures Act, will allow individuals with disabilities to create their own special needs trusts. For years, individuals with disabilities have been precluded, through nothing more than a drafting oversight, from creating these special needs trusts on their own. Instead, individuals with disabilities have needed to rely on family members or guardians to establish the trusts on their behalf. Through the passage of this Act, a competent person with a disability will now be able to establish his or her own trust. This is a great step toward empowering individuals with disabilities, who often must create these trusts to protect their assets and remain eligible to access government benefits. No matter how you feel about the goings on in Washington these days, this is a bill we can all celebrate.
If you or someone you know may qualify for creating a Special Needs Trust, give me a call. As a Florida Bar Board Certified attorney in Elder Law, I can explain the reasons to establish a Special Needs Trust and create a trust designed specifically to meet your personal needs. Give me a call today!