Creating a Trust for Special Needs Child

We’ve discussed many different types of trusts on this blog and unique considerations are necessary when a special needs child or an adult with disabilities is in your care. Who will care for this person should you become ill or pass on? How will their medical bills and living expenses be paid?

A Special Needs Trust or a Supplemental Needs Trust is a document with detailed instructions on how and when your assets should be distributed, with a special focus on keeping the beneficiary eligible for government benefits that are contingent on the amount of assets her or she has. In the case that the beneficiary cannot make financial decisions on their own, a third party will need to be established in order to distribute the funds. This should be part of your estate planning process if a special needs child or adult with disabilities is in your care or may become a beneficiary of your estate.

Funding
Will your assets alone be enough to sustain the beneficiary’s medical care in addition to housing, clothing and food? Parents and caregivers of special needs children may need to call on the assistance of other relatives or establishing special accounts and insurance policies to ensure financial solvency for a special needs beneficiary.

Establishing a Third Party Trustee
If your beneficiary cannot care for themselves, it is important that the person handling the trust understand their needs. The trustee should be someone that your beneficiary knows and trusts. You and your attorney should meet with the potential trustee to be sure they understand the time commitment and responsibility of being the trustee for a special needs individual.

How the Funds Should Be Used
A Special Needs Trust should have specific instructions on how funds should be used. It’s important to consider such matters as medical needs, transportation, rehabilitation, personal items, housing and education.

Even if you believe you have enough assets, it’s important that a Special Needs Trust operate in such a way that the beneficiary remains eligible for services such as Medicaid. Disabilities can worsen with age and unexpected expenses may arise. At Wilson Law, P.A., we have experienced attorneys that can help you every step of the way. We understand the challenges of caring for a special needs individual and your concerns for their future should you become unable to care for them yourself. Establishing a Special Needs Trust gives you the peace of mind knowing that your loved one will be well cared for even in your absence. Contact us for a free consultation today.

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