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Senate Passes Special Needs Trust Fairness Act

On September 10, the Senate passed the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act of 2015 (S. 349), which will enable individuals with disabilities to create their own special needs trusts (SNTs). Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) sponsored the legislation, which corrects a drafting error in an earlier law (the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993) that has prevented competent individuals from establishing their own SNTs. Federal law currently requires that first party SNTs, created with assets owned by the beneficiary, be established on their behalf by a parent, grandparent, guardian or court. A companion bill in the House (H.R. 670) was introduced in February by Representative Glenn Thompson (R-PA )