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Principled Advocacy For Families And Individuals With Disabilities And The Professionals Who Serve Them

Special needs trusts: Understanding how they work

| Jul 15, 2021 | Estate Planning

A special needs trust can be an amazing lifeline for someone with special needs. It’s a way to provide them with additional assets and support without affecting their local, state or government benefits.

Since many people with special needs outlive their parents or guardians, it’s important that there are protections in place to help them. Setting up a special needs trust lets the parent or guardian send money, like that from a life insurance policy payout, to the trust to support them in the future.

What can a special needs trust pay for?

Special needs trusts may pay for any goods or services that the beneficiary needs, such as home furnishings, education or medical equipment.

What makes a special-needs trust different from other kinds?

This kind of trust is made specifically for those with special needs. The trustee manages spending, and the beneficiary will never have direct control over the assets in the trust. The assets aren’t owned by the beneficiary, either. In some other kinds of trusts, the trusts pay out to the beneficiary directly upon meeting specific requirements. With a special needs trust, parents and guardians can trust that their beneficiaries will receive the money or assets needed without having that inheritance affect their benefits.

Is a special needs trust right for your beneficiary?

If your child or loved one needs additional support, a special needs trust could be a good choice. This isn’t the only kind of trust available, so you may want to look into the types of trusts and trust administration options before deciding on the best option for you.