Learn the Differences between the Third Party Supplemental Needs Trust and the First Party or (d)(4)(a) Special Needs Trust and How We Use Them
A first party SNT is funded with assets owned by the trust beneficiary. A first party SNT–also commonly referred to as a “self settled” or “(d)(4)(A)” Trust–may be established to protect current or future means-tested government benefits if an individual is about to receive a settlement, inheritance or other monies that will bring his countable assets to more than $2,000.
First party SNTs are most commonly required when an individual with disabilities has received a settlement from a personal injury action or an inheritance from a well-meaning person who did not understand that such a gift could disqualify the beneficiary from important government aid. Another common use for a first party SNT is for divorce alimony or property division, or for child support payments when dealing with a child who has a disability. Unless such funds are sheltered in a first party SNT or used to purchase exempt resources, the beneficiary would lose his benefits and be required to pay medical bills and many other expenses from the assets until those assets have been spent down to $2,000.