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Utilizing Support Trusts for Litigation Proceeds for a Minor

Situations often arise where a minor plaintiff is receiving a significant personal injury award or settlement.  As a general rule, the proceeds are placed in an account with the surrogate of the county in which the minor resides.  To withdraw funds from the surrogate’s account, the parent must make an application justifying the reason for…

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Administration of a Special Needs Trust

1. PRELIMINARY MATTERS Administration of a Special Needs Trust is complex.  It is critical that distributions be made in such a manner that the beneficiary maintains public benefits.  The trustee must be aware of the rules pertaining to each public benefit program to which the beneficiary is entitled or may become entitled.  These benefits are…

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Reducing a Medicaid Lien

There are three ways to reduce a Medicaid lien.  These strategies can be used separately or in combination. Procurement Costs. Under New Jersey law,[1][SJR1] where a Medicaid recipient settles a case against a third party, the Medicaid lien can be reduced by attorneys’ fees and costs and expenses.  Many lawyers simply ask for and receive…

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When do I Need a Self-Settled Special Needs Trust?

In the settlement of litigation, the plaintiff is often receiving public benefits.  The question then arises as to whether a special needs trust is required.  There are certain types of public benefits that are means-tested.  Others are not.  Generally, means-tested public benefits require that the individual have assets of less than $2,000 and have certain…

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