Law Offices of Patrick McNally header
Law Offices of Patrick McNally buttons

Law Office of Patrick McNally logo


Medi-Cal image


Law Offices of Patrick McNally forms button


Law Offices of Patrick McNally articles button


Law Offices of Patrick McNally testimonials button



Law Offices of Patrick McNally contact button


NAELA logo


CAHNR logo


Each family faces unique challwenges when addressing their long-term needs. This is especially true if you have a disabled child or other disabled family member who is unable to work or perhaps live independently.

A special needs trust is a trust specially for persons with special needs.  Its primary purpose is to provide for the needs of an individual without disrupting that person's eligibility for Medi-Cal, Social Security and other government benefits.  Sometimes called a “Supplemental Trust”, the trustee of a Special Needs Trust (“SNT”) is under instructions in the trust to use the trust funds to supplement public benefits – primarily Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medi-Cal - which the child may receive from the state and pay for items and services that the public benefits system is unable to provide.

There are 2 main categories of special needs trust: 

(i)         the “first party” SNT – (so called because it is the child’s own money which is being used to fund the trust – typically through monies obtained through a lawsuit or from an inheritance) is set up by a court order. 

(ii)        the “third party” SNT (funded by persons other than the child him/herself, such as the child’s parents) which is set up by .  Within each category are various alternatives, but the basic structure is that assets are transferred into trust with an independent trustee for the benefit of the beneficiary with a disability who has no control over disbursements from the trust.

We have considerable expertise in setting up both categories of SNTs.  This can a highly technical area of the law, due to the fact that planning in this area requires a knowledge not just of trust law but also of public benefits, health care insurance, taxation and family law. 

Clink the links below for more information on both types of trusts and how our expertise can help you as the parent/relative of the child (and, in the case of a 1st party “litigation” trust, the attorney representing the injured disabled person) structure a trust to make sure that the special needs person will be able to maintain his or her quality of life without losing vital government benefits.

LINK: Trusts Set Up by Parents/Relatives (aka 3rd party Trusts)

LINK: Trusts Set Up for the Court (aka 1st party SNTs)

Law Offices of Patrick McNally logo

2014 Law Office of Patrick McNally. All Rights Reserved. Website design by I Am The Dream Web Design.