Yes, you can provide for a special needs child in your estate plan. A specially designed trust, called a Special Needs Trust, can help ensure that your child will continue to receive the benefits they need.
What is a special needs trust?
A special needs trust is a type of trust that is specifically designed to help individuals with disabilities. The trust can be used to pay for things like housing, transportation, and healthcare.
Who can set up a special needs trust?
Anyone can set up a special needs trust, including parents, grandparents, or other friends and family members.
How does a special needs trust work?
A special needs trust allows people with disabilities to qualify for need-based government benefits while preserving the ability to access additional assets, which may be used to cover unanticipated costs. The beneficiary will not lose eligibility for government programs like Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) due to income or asset levels that exceed their qualification criteria if the trust is drafted properly.
A properly drafted special needs trust will also provide for the management and distribution of assets for the beneficiary’s benefit. The trustee will be responsible for making decisions about how to best use the trust assets to improve the beneficiary’s quality of life. This may include paying for supplemental services, therapies, or equipment that are not covered by government benefits.
Who can serve as trustee of a special needs trust?
The trustee of a special needs trust can be anyone who is willing and able to take on the responsibility, including family members, friends, or professionals. Often, the special needs child themselves will act as trustee of their own trusts.
For more information about whether a Special Needs Trust would be beneficial in your situation, please contact Roth Elder Law, PLLC at 607-962-6162 today for a consultation.