National Alliance on Mental Illness
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 Glossary of SNEP Terms


Beneficiary - The beneficiary is the person who benefits from the trust. The person for whom the trust is created.

Bequest -A gift made through a will.

Discretionary powers - Powers that provide a trustee many options in managing a trust's assets and in adapting the benefits furnished to the beneficiary in order to accommodate varying situations.

Disinherit - To exclude from inheritance.

Durable Power of Attorney - A document in which one person (the principal) gives legal authority to another person (the agent) to act on the person's behalf. It lets you appoint an agent (usually your spouse or child) to manage all or part of your business or personal affairs.

Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care - A document by which one person gives another person the ability to make medical decisions on their behalf if something happens to them with the result that they cannot make that decision for themselves.

Estate - All property, both real and personal, that a person owns at the time of his or her death.

Grantor/Settlor - A grantor is the person who establishes the trust and transfers assets to create the trust. In a self settled trust, the grantor must be the parent, grandparent, guardian of the disabled person, or the court.

Guardian - A person who is eighteen years of age or older, a corporation, or a public agency, including a local department of social services, appointed by the supreme court, the surrogate's court, or the county court to act on behalf of an incapacitated person in providing for personal needs and/or for property management.

In kind Support and Maintenance - In kind Support and Maintenance (ISM) is food, clothing and shelter furnished by the trust. It affects the SSI payment.

Inter vivos - Trust established by the grantor during his or her lifetime.

Irrevocable Trust - A trust that cannot be changed or terminated before the time specified in the trust, but the loss of flexibility may be offset by savings in taxes. The trust typically prohibits the grantor from taking action to regain any of the property or funds in that trust.

Mandatory provisions - Statements contained in a trust that require the trustee to act in certain ways.

Morally obligated gift - A gift or bequest given to someone with a request that the gift be used only for the benefit of a third party. It is not legally binding.

Pooled Trust - The pooling of resources for investment purposes established and managed by not-for-profit associations, who maintain separate accounts for each individual.

Real property - Real estate, land.

Remainderman/Remainderperson - The person(s) who receives the remaining assets of a trust at the trust's termination.

Revocable Trust - A revocable trust means that the items placed in the trust can be amended or revoked.

Self Settled Trust - A living trust in which the beneficiary under the trust is the Grantor or Settlor.

Spendthrift clause - A provision in a trust ensuring that the beneficiary does not pledge or encumber the assets of the trust.

Special Needs Trust - Also known as a Spendthrift, Luxury, Discretionary or Supplementary Trust. It is designed to provide for the supplementary needs of the person with a disability over and above that provided by the government. A trust which provides funds in addition to governmental benefits to a person with developmental disabilities. The assets of a Supplemental Needs Trust are not considered as "available assets" for the purpose of determining whether an individual shall be eligible for governmental benefits.

Testamentary trust - A trust established under a will to take effect after the death of the testator or testatrix.

Third party trust - A living trust or testamentary trust in which the beneficiary under the trust is someone other than the grantor or settlor.

Trust Protector - A trust protector is a person designated by the grantor of the trust to protect the interest of the beneficiary. The trust protector oversees the trustee and can be given the power to remove and replace the trustee if the administration of the trust is not satisfactory.

Trust - A trust is a legal document under which assets are held and administered for the benefit of a beneficiary where the document spells out the terms and conditions of distribution and the terms by which the trust is to be administered.

Trustee - A trustee is the person who administers the trust in accordance with its terms. The selection of the right person or entity to serve as the trustee is critical. The trustee is responsible for investing the funds, accounting for income and the payment of expenses, and for making distributions in accordance with the terms of the trust document. If the trustee mismanages a Supplemental Needs Trust, the beneficiary's public benefits may be reduced or terminated.

Will - A written document with instructions for disposing of assets after death. A Will can only be enforced through the probate court A legal document providing instructions for how an estate will be distributed upon death. or A legal document by which an individual can direct the distribution of his or her property at death.