What is the difference between a special needs trust and a supplemental needs trust?
A supplemental needs trust is designed to supplement the needs of the person whose the beneficiary of that trust. It is not meant to replace the government benefits that they may be on, and receiving maybe Medicaid, or some other government benefit. It is designed to assist with their care not replace their care. A special needs trust is designed to enhance the life of the person who is the beneficiary of that trust, and it can be used for enhanced medical equipment that otherwise would not be available, so it is a different kind of special needs trust. These trusts are very similar, and in a supplemental special needs trust that is a special needs trust, if I can use that word to explain this, for a spousal benefit when, in fact, a spouse is receiving Medicaid. These trusts are very similar. The technical differences between the two, however, really require a better understanding through the use of an elder law attorney.