Our office remains open, and in response to COVID-19, we have expanded our options for remote consultations and virtual meetings. Please contact our office to discuss what meeting option best fits your situation.

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

More special needs planning tips: Choosing a trustee

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2023 | Estate Planning

Those with special needs family members face many worries and fears. The care, happiness and safety of their loved ones are always concerning. It leaves them wondering who will fill their shoes and care for their relatives after they die.

You can choose any eligible adult you like to administer a trust under Illinois law, but give the matter careful consideration first. Remember, the individual or entity you name as trustee will have control of the assets contained in the trust.

Below are two critical things to consider when selecting a special needs trustee.

Their knowledge of public benefits programs

After you die, your loved one with special needs will likely qualify for government programs like Supplemental Security Income (SSI). However, even a minor error in managing the trust’s funds could disqualify the trust beneficiary from obtaining these government benefits.

Narrow your candidates to those who understand the specific requirements of government programs. They should also be financially savvy and comfortable making decisions in potentially life-altering economic circumstances.

Their willingness and ability to serve

Most automatically consider naming a family member to fill the role of trustee. Often, a relative can serve admirably, but it is crucial to remain objective. For example, one adult child may agree to act as a trustee for a sibling’s trust even when intimidated by the role.

Make sure those on your shortlist can meet the challenges of managing a special needs trust. When considering a relative, ensure they truly want the role and are not agreeing just to spare your feelings.

We suggest exploring your options when creating a special needs trust or choosing other estate planning components.