Special Needs Trust: Protecting the Future of Loved Ones with Special Needs

When you care for someone with special needs, you want to make sure they have the best possible life, even when you are not around. One way to do this is by setting up a special kind of trust called a “Special Needs Trust.” The trust can provide financial support and care for your loved one. It also makes sure their needs are met and their quality of life remains high.

A Special Needs Trust is like a special savings account that holds money and other valuable things for a person with special needs. What makes it different from a regular savings account is that it is made especially for them. It is designed to work in a way that will not affect their eligibility for important government benefits, like Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

The main idea behind a Special Needs Trust is to provide a safety net for your loved one, without putting their government benefits at risk.

Here is how it works:

1. Preserving Benefits: Many people with special needs rely on government benefits to pay for things. These government benefits cover medical care, housing, and other important services. Although benefits have income and asset limits. So if the person has too much money or property, they could lose these benefits. A Special Needs Trust helps keep the person’s assets separate. This will ensure they can still receive their government benefits and stay eligible for the support they need.

2. Supplementing Care: While government benefits offer essential support, they may fall short of covering all the additional elements that can enhance your loved one’s life—such as special therapies, education, or recreational activities. You can set up a Special Needs Trust to pay for these extras, ensuring that your loved one enjoys a better quality of life and gets the care they deserve.

3. Trustee’s Role: In a Special Needs Trust, you will need to choose someone you trust to be the “trustee.” This person’s job is to manage the trust. They will use the money in the trust for the benefit of your loved one with special needs. The trustee will ensure that they spend the trust money on things that will not interfere with the government benefits your loved one receives.

4. Flexibility and Control: Special Needs Trusts offer flexibility in how the trustee can delicate the money. The trustee can use the funds to pay for a wide range of things that will improve the beneficiary’s life. Anything from medical expenses, therapies, assistive technology, education, transportation, and even entertainment or vacations.

5. Types of Special Needs Trusts: There are two main types of Special Needs Trusts. The first is a Third-Party Special Needs Trust the other is a First-Party Special Needs Trust.  A Third-Party Trust is funded with assets from someone other than the person with special needs. Typically put in place by a parent or grandparent. A First-Party Trust is funded with the assets of the person with special needs. Often it’s using a settlement from a lawsuit or an inheritance.

6. Peace of Mind: One of the greatest benefits of a Special Needs Trust is the peace of mind it provides. Knowing that your loved one will have financial support can relieve a significant amount of stress and worry. Even after you are gone, a responsible trustee will continue to provide the needed care and attention, ensuring your loved one will receive it.

Setting up a Special Needs Trust might sound a bit complex. However, it is a way to secure the future of your loved one with special needs. It is like creating a safety net that ensures they will always have the resources to live a fulfilling life. Overall still benefiting from important government assistance programs. If you are considering a Special Needs Trust, it is smart to consult with a legal professional who specializes in this area. This will ensure you are making the best decisions for your loved one’s future. Remember, planning today can make a world of difference tomorrow.

Outdated Browser

Some features of this site may not be available with your current browser.
In order to receieve the best experience, please update to a newer browser.