Should you consider a special needs trust for your disabled child?

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2022 | Estate Planning

If you are the parent of a disabled child, you know the special care and attention he or she needs. You also know that a lot of this care is not only expensive but also requires your coordination and oversight. What happens if you become ill, injured or otherwise incapacitated and can no longer perform this all-important function?

Establishing a special needs trust for the benefit of your child may be just the answer to this question.

Trust assets

FindLaw explains that you can transfer all types of assets into the trust, including such benefits as the following that your child currently receives:

  • Medicare and Medicaid
  • SSI
  • Housing subsidy
  • Educational subsidy
  • Employment subsidy
  • Life insurance policy

Once placed into the trust, it legally owns these benefits, leaving your child eligible to receive any new or additional benefits that become available in the future.

Trust advantages

One of the greatest advantages of a special needs trust is that you can name yourself as its trustee. As such, you can continue to oversee and coordinate your child’s care and distribute these assets for it just as you do now. Be sure, however, to name a successor trustee to take over trust management in the event of your incapacitation or death.

Keep in mind that, as sole beneficiary of the trust, your child is the only person to or for whom all of its assets can go. In other words, you and the eventual successor trustee act in a fiduciary capacity and can only distribute assets for your child’s benefit.

All in all, a special needs trust gives you peace of mind knowing that your child will receive the care he or she needs, both during your lifetime and beyond.