Case Study: Matter of Abraham
This case study explores the benefits of supplemental needs trusts against estate recovery by the government. Supplemental needs trusts protect assets earmarked for severely disabled beneficiaries, to allow them to have some spending money without making them ineligible for government assistance. For money originally belonging to the disabled person, the government has an "estate recovery" right; that is, it can recover its expenses from the supplemental needs trust after the death of the disabled person. This case, from the Court of Appeals of New York, tests the limits of this "payback" requirement and when it can be enforced.
The case can be found here: