Guardians/Guardianship

Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed legislation which amends New York law to allow mentally-competent disabled individuals under age 65 to establish a first-party Special Needs Trust without court petition.

In the past, when an individual with special needs had assets in his or her name which precluded his or her eligibility for government benefits, a

President Obama just signed a new law that allows First Party Special Needs Trusts to be established by mentally competent individuals for their own benefit.  This is a major “fix” to the current law which only allows First Party Special Needs Trusts to be set up by a parent, grandparent, guardian or a court.  For

In 1993, Congress enacted Section 1917(d)(4)(A) of the Social Security Act, authorizing the establishment of special needs trusts (also called first-party trusts and self-settled trusts).  First-party special needs trusts enable disabled individuals to set aside their funds to pay for supplemental care while enabling those individuals to remain eligible for government benefits. See 42 U.S.C.