“Thought for the Day” #743 – by Stephen R. Elville, J.D., LL.M.

June 17, 2016

The assets of a testamentary trust (a trust created under a will) are generally not to be considered an available resource for public benefit (Medicaid or other) purposes.  This is an important concept established under federal law.  Furthermore, in special needs and disability planning, we are concerned about ensuring that such a trust is not considered a “support” trust.  In a recent case, the Supreme Court of Connecticut  ruled that the state Department of Social Services improperly denied a Medicaid application after counting assets in a testamentary trust that should have been considered exempt because, the court held, the trust was a discretionary supplemental needs trust, not a support trust. Pikula v. Department of Social Services (May 10, 2016).