Trouble afoot for Special Needs Trusts in New Jersey

A trend is developing in the State of New Jersey when it comes to the State’s review of the payments made by Trustees of Special Needs Trusts. Trustees are reporting that the State is raising objections to numerous types of disbursements made by the trustees. New Jersey rules require the trustee to file an annual accounting with the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, as well as a notification when a trust disbursement exceeds $5,000. Long after the fact, Trustees are receiving letters objecting to disbursements, threatening to disqualify a beneficiary from benefits if payments aren’t reimbursed by the trustee or by the third party vendor who received the payment. The fundamental problem here is that the very purpose of a Special Needs Trust under federal and state law is to hold funds owned by and deposited by the disabled person before his/her 65th birthday, to be used for “sole benefit of” the disabled person “to supplement…

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