A Family Firm Dedicated To You

Why should you consider creating a special needs trust?

Creating an estate plan ensures your family’s financial security and peace of mind. For families with a member who has special needs, this is especially important. Creating a special needs trust can be a lifeline for these individuals. These trusts safeguard both financial support and eligibility for essential government benefits. It’s crucial to understand the critical factors that determine if a special needs trust is a good fit.

Understanding the benefits of a special needs trust

A special needs trust is a legal arrangement that offers a host of benefits for a person with a disability. Many people decide to establish a special needs trust based on these advantages.

A key advantage is protecting eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid. These government benefits have strict income and asset limits. This means receiving an inheritance directly can disqualify individuals from these crucial programs. These limits can make it difficult to plan for the long-term financial security of your loved one. 

However, special needs trusts make this planning much easier. They ensure your loved one has access to funds for care, housing, and education without jeopardizing their benefits.

Special needs trusts also grant relief because they have strict fund management. Trustees oversee the trust’s funds, ensuring they support the beneficiary’s needs. You can appoint the trustee and rest easy knowing they will handle the money responsibly.

Funds in a special needs trust are generally protected from creditors. This means that the government can not seize the assets in the trust to pay off debts.

When to establish a special needs trust

If you want to create a special needs trust, it’s beneficial to do so as early as possible. This allows you to start contributing to the trust while your loved one is still young. By doing this, you can be sure there are ample resources available for their future. Early planning also helps prepare for any changes in their needs over time.

If your family member receives a diagnosis of a disability that qualifies them as special needs, it’s wise to consider a special needs trust right away. It’s also important to establish the trust before they receive a substantial inheritance.

Creating a special needs trust is more than a legal formality. It is a proactive step toward ensuring the well-being of a loved one with a disability. By understanding the benefits of a special needs trust, you can make a more informed decision. This will allow you to act quickly and create the trust when it is most advantageous to do so. Thoughtful estate planning today can make a world of difference in the years to come.