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Do you need a special needs trust in your estate plan?

On Behalf of | Jul 24, 2022 | Trusts |

Parents of a child who has special needs often worry about what will happen when both parents pass away. The child will still need care, but they won’t have either of those two trusted adults there to provide it. One way that these parents can ensure the child gets the care they need is to establish a special needs trust. 

A special needs trust is an irrevocable trust that sets aside assets to help provide care for the individual who has special needs. It can be used for adults or children, but it has some specific limitations. 

Why are special needs trusts important?

One of the most important reasons why special needs trusts are important is that they are a supplement to government benefits — without replacing those benefits. Because they’re irrevocable and have very specific conditions for use set in them, they don’t negatively impact a person’s qualification for needs-based services. 

A special needs trust has a trustee placed over it. That individual is responsible for determining how the trust can help the beneficiary. The beneficiary doesn’t have any control over the contents of the trust, and they won’t ever receive a direct disbursement out of the trust.

Getting your estate plan in order is critical if you have someone who’s counting on you to care for them. While establishing a special needs trust is one component of this plan, there are others to think about. You need to have your will in place, as well as powers of attorney designations. It may also be necessary to name a guardian over your child. Working with someone who’s familiar with these cases is beneficial since they can help guide you through the proves and ensure you have everything in order. 

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