Could your family benefit from a special needs trust?
When planning for the future, it is critical to consider what will happen with your estate and assets after your passing. If you are the parent of a special needs family member, or you have a loved one who is not able to care for himself or herself, you may need to account for this in your estate plan. There are certain planning tools available to you that will allow you to ensure that your loved one has what he or she needs for the future.
One of the specific tools that may provide you with benefits and protection is a special needs trust. This is a certain type of trust that will allow you to provide for your loved one well into the future, even after your passing. Even if you are young and healthy, you may benefit from exploring this option in order to ensure your loved one has support in case of an unexpected situation.
Important benefits for special needs loved one
Many disabled or special needs individuals are recipients of government benefits as they may not be able to hold gainful employment or pay for their own basic needs. However, these benefits may not cover all the needs of your loved one, which is why ensuring ongoing support and provision is important. One of the benefits of a special needs trust is that the assets held in this type of trust do not impact government benefits. This trust allows you to set aside and protect funds for a specific use.
You can designate the funds you set aside for things the beneficiary may need that government benefits may not typically cover. This includes clothes, food, housing and more. By establishing a trust instead of passing assets directly to the beneficiary, you can also name a trusted individual to act as the trustee. This person will oversee distribution of trust assets and ensure their intended use.
Adding a trust to your estate plan
If you believe that a trust would be a beneficial addition to your estate plan, you will benefit from acting promptly. It is impossible to predict the future, and having a trust ensures that the interests of your special needs loved one are secure no matter what. An assessment of your estate, long-term goals and other details can determine if a special needs trust or other type of trust could be a practical step for you.