If your loved one has special needs, you play a pivotal role in their social, medical, emotional, and financial needs. Many federal and state programs can help benefit your child, but you need to plan for their well-being for decades into the future. A special needs trust can help provide your child or adult with special needs security throughout their future.

At Kondori & Moorad, LLP, our experienced estate planning attorneys can help your loved one with a special needs trust. We explain what they are, how they work, and the benefits for your family.

What Is a Special Needs Trust?

A special needs trust is a legal entity set up by a parent or guardian. It protects the rights of a person with special needs and helps protect assets that will benefit that vulnerable person. It often holds assets such as:

  • Money
  • Investments and securities
  • Physical assets
  • Car titles and other ownership documents
  • Real estate

The assets belong to the trust, rather than the person individually. This helps protect the assets and protect government benefits to which the person with special needs is entitled. The assets in the trust are often not factored into the calculations for the person’s government benefits such as Social Security Supplemental Security Income.

Who Needs a Special Needs Trust?

Any disabled person or person with special needs may need a special needs trust. The two most common categories of people who need this type of protection include:

  • Children With Special Needs: If you are a parent of someone with special needs, this trust can help you plan for their present and future needs. It can help you get the most out of your government benefits and protect your child throughout their life.
  • Disabled Adults: Disabled adults or those with special needs can greatly benefit from a special needs trust.

If you are unsure about whether this is right for your loved one, an experienced special needs trust attorney can help you make the right decision.

Benefits of a Special Needs Trust

There are many critical benefits from a special needs trust that can protect your loved one. These include, but are not limited to:

Asset Protection: The trust can guard the assets so they remain available for your loved one. It also prevents unscrupulous individuals or companies from scamming a person with special needs out of their valuable property.

Benefits Eligibility: Government programs often consider what assets or income the person with special needs has. When assets are owned by the trust, those assets do not factor into these calculations. This usually means higher benefit payouts by the government or other programs.

Trustee Protections: Parents or guardians can appoint a trustee for the trust to manage it and help the person with special needs. A trustee handles the trust assets, investments, and other aspects for the benefit of the person with special needs.

Covers Expenses: The trust can help pay out-of-pocket costs not covered by other government benefits. This helps pay for unique costs or day-to-day living expenses in many cases.

There are countless benefits that might help your loved one with special needs. Your estate planning attorney can fashion a trust that works best for you.

What Can a Special Needs Trust Help Pay For?

These trusts are designed to supplement government benefits. This means that the special needs trust funds can be used for anything the trust approves, so long as it does not pay for things the protected person already receives assistance with.

Special needs trusts can help pay for:

  • Therapy and rehabilitation services
  • Transportation or vehicle costs
  • Travel expenses
  • Entertainment expenses
  • Medical or dental expenses not already covered by insurance
  • Professional care services such as personal care, housekeeping, or daycare
  • Home modifications for disabilities
  • Educational costs

Form Your Special Needs Trust Today

At the law firm of Kondori & Moorad, our experienced estate planning lawyers can help you create a special needs trust for your loved one. We work with families and those with special needs to protect their rights and guard their future. Contact us today to see how we can help.

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