A family member with special needs often requires extra support and consideration. For example, although most parents can stop financially supporting their children when they become adults, a child with special needs may never be legally capable of independence and may require ongoing care and financial support for the rest of their life.
Parents have to worry not just about providing for their child throughout their working life and retirement but also after they die. A special needs trust is a powerful legal tool that helps parents and other adults who love someone with special needs protect that person. The following three protections could make a special needs trust an ideal solution for your family’s circumstances.
Special needs trusts can help a loved one maximize their independence
Someone with physical or cognitive disabilities may not be able to live completely on their own. They could require support with daily functions or need guidance when it comes to maintaining household finances or meeting their own needs, like nutrition.
Developing a special needs trust can give your loved one some financial resources that they can rely on to cover their expenses. If your loved one wants to move out into their own apartment or possibly a group home, your special needs trust could give them the financial support they need to pursue those goals without giving them control over a large amount of assets that they might misuse.
Special needs trusts can keep your loved one connected with state benefits
Medicaid, educational support programs for adults with special needs and even housing benefits often have strict financial limitations for who does and does not qualify. If the only way that your loved one can live independently or receive the care they need is by receiving state benefits like Medicaid, an inheritance could be dangerous because it cuts them off from those resources.
Since a trust can involve planned limitations on how much someone uses or withdraws each year, it can prevent someone from disqualifying themselves from the benefits they require.
A special needs trust can protect your loved one from financial abuse
People with physical and cognitive disabilities can become targets for those with criminal or fraudulent intentions. Financial manipulation and abuse are a real concern for adults with special needs who have their own financial resources.
A trust limits who can access resources and why. It also requires a trustee, who can help protect your vulnerable loved one from those who might abuse them.
A special needs trust can protect your family member after you die and can also play a role in their independent living while you are still alive. Getting help with the creation and funding of a special needs trust can help your family provide for its most vulnerable member.