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Drafting Special Needs Trusts for Vulnerable Clients

Total Credits: 1 including 1 CLE

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Estate Planning
Martha C. Brown
Original Program Date:
Apr 12, 2024
Access till 04/12/2024 after purchase.


Special Needs Trusts are designed to provide for the long-care of individuals who have physical or intellectual impairments and are unable to provide for themselves, whatever their age.  SNTs are intended to preserve the beneficiary’s eligibility for public benefits – Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid – while maximizing the private resources of the beneficiary’s family.  Drafting distribution clauses and selecting the right trustee to make financial and health-care related decisions for the beneficiary are the essential steps in the planning process. This program will provide you with a practical guide to the types of SNTs, the situations in which each is most appropriate, preserving public benefit eligibility, distribution provisions, and trustee selection.


  • Planning and drafting issues with Special Needs Trusts
  • Types of SNTs and eligibility standards
  • Relationship of SNTs to public benefits – Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, SSI
  • Key considerations in drafting distribution clauses
  • Choosing individual and institutional trustees, and the use of “pooled trusts”
  • Administrative issues in SNTs



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Martha C. Brown & Associates, LLC

Martha C. Brown is an attorney at the law firm of Martha C. Brown & Associates, LLC in St. Louis, Missouri, where she has more than 25 years’ experience in the fields of elder law and estate planning.  She has an extensive practice advising the elderly and their families on their trust and estate planning matters with an emphasis on Special Needs Trusts.  She is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, a former board member and Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and a board member of the Special Needs Alliance.