The Special Needs Trust allows a parent, grandparent or guardian to provide funds for a disabled child without disrupting the child's eligibility for government aid. This type of estate planning benefits parents of adult children with special needs or the spouse of a disabled adult, as they tend to be the primary caregiver(s).
A plan must be in place in the event that the primary family caregiver passes away first to ensure the adult child or disabled spouse is taken care of with regard to financial, residential and health care matters.
Here at The Elder & Disability Law Firm we work with you and your loved ones to establish a plan that reassures their education, housing and other needs are taken care of. We understand that parents of special needs children or spouses face an even greater imperative to do this essential planning. The good news, is that setting one up is a fairly simple process.
HOW THE SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST WORKS
During your lifetime, you can serve as Trustee and remain in complete control over your loved one’s finances. Should you die, however, your Successor Trustees will step in and take care of the finances on your behalf. Unlike the guardian, a probate court might appoint, your Successor Trustee is someone you know and trust.
Relatives or close family friends can be appointed to supervise finances. To work with financial institutions and manage the estate, you may also want a trusted financial advisor to serve as Trustee. As part of setting up a Special Needs Trust, you will provide detailed written instructions to direct your Trustees' activities. By law, Trustees must follow these instructions. Best of all, the Special Needs Trust will preserve your loved one’s eligibility for federal, state and charitable benefit programs. This is accomplished by providing that the funds can only be withdrawn from the trust for purposes other than those covered under the governmental and private benefit programs.