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3 reasons parents may choose to establish special needs trusts

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Parenting a child with special needs requires more from parents than the average family situation demands. Parents need to provide more extensive oversight and may need to help their children connect with crucial resources, like special education services.

Parents want what is best for their children and often need to plan carefully to ensure that they have proper support in the future. Many parents recognize that estate planning can protect their children from uncertainty if anything were to happen to the parents. They choose to name guardians and set aside certain resources for the children.

Parents of children with special needs often need to have a more thorough approach to estate planning, which might include the creation of a trust. Special needs trusts are important tools for families trying to provide stability for a child with special needs. The following are some of the potential benefits of funding a special needs trust.

Financial oversight

The most obvious benefit of establishing a special needs trust is how doing so protects the resources parents allocate for a child with special needs. If someone inherits assets from an estate, they have total control over what happens with those assets. The chances of someone wasting or misusing an inheritance crease when the beneficiary of an estate has special needs. A trustee can manage trust resources and ensure that they only distribute assets to the beneficiary was special needs in appropriate circumstances.

Benefits access

Independent living or possibly living in a communal facility are both options for adults with special needs. They may require certain state benefits, such as Medicaid, to receive the support and care they require. Someone who inherits a large amount of money from the estate of their parents or other family members could become ineligible for future benefits for some time because of the lump-sum inheritance that they receive. Assets deposited in a trust do not technically belong to the beneficiary and therefore do not automatically eliminate state benefits. Families can control the distribution of trust resources carefully to ensure that a loved one was special needs maintains continued eligibility.

Enhanced quality of life

The assets used to fund a special needs trust could have an immediate, positive impact on someone’s overall standard of living. They can pay for resources and amenities that state benefits may not cover. They could pursue educational opportunities, pay for electronics or even travel in some cases. Parents may derive peace of mind from knowing that what they set aside for their children with special needs can enrich their lives for years to come.

Deciding to establish a special needs trust is only the first step in a complex process. Funding the trust, choosing a trustee and establishing the right rules for the trust are also all crucial steps. Parents who understand the potential benefits of a special needs trust may be in a better position to better ensure the comfort and financial stability of a family member with special needs.