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Should you establish a special needs trust for your disabled child?

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2020 | Wills & Trusts

If you have a special needs child, you have a lot on your plate. Depending on his or her specific disability and the severity thereof, you may spend considerable time seeing to his or her needs. But who will care for him or her if (s)he outlives you? Establishing a special needs trust can take that worry off your mind. 

FindLaw explains that when you set up the special needs trust, you name your child as its beneficiary. You can also appoint yourself as the trustee, which allows you to continue managing the trust assets and the income they produce for your child’s benefit. Make sure to appoint a successor trustee, however, who will assume these duties if you die or become too ill, disabled or otherwise unable to continue. 

The beauty of a special needs trust is that the trust itself owns the assets you place within it This leaves your child free to continue receiving the federal or state benefits (s)he currently gets, such as the following: 

  • Medicare and/or Medicaid benefits 
  • SSI benefits 
  • Housing subsidies 
  • Employment subsidies 
  • Educational subsidies 

It also ensures that (s)he will continue to remain eligible for future benefits. 

Perhaps the greatest benefit of a special needs trust is that it gives you peace of mind. No matter what happens in the future, you have seen to it that your special needs child will always have the funds (s)he needs whenever (s)he needs them. You have also seen to it that a trusted person or facility will manage the trust in your absence, thereby providing your child with the care (s)he will need throughout his or her life.