What is a special needs trust and how can it help?

Trusts refer to when property is managed by someone for another person’s benefit. The property that is managed can include real estate, finances and other tangible items of property. A special needs trust is a type of trust that can provide certain benefits to estate planners that they should be familiar with.

What is a special needs trust?

A special needs trust is designed for the benefit of a loved one that has physical or mental disabilities. This can include an inability to manage their own finances. The trust is created to support the needs, lifestyle and future of the beneficiary. A special needs trust is usually set up with the thought in mind that it is important for the beneficiary not to lose their government benefits. Trained guidance can be valuable to help set up a special needs trust that will achieve the goals of meeting the needs of the beneficiary and ensuring their public benefits remain undisturbed and available them.

What are the benefits of a special needs trust?

When assets are left to a disabled loved one through a will, the beneficiary may run the risk of losing their public benefits which could include Supplemental Security Income or other public benefit. Utilizing a special needs trust will not impact the beneficiary’s eligibility for benefits the way a lump sum inheritance through a will might.

There are many options to consider when estate planning. A special needs trust can help ensure a loved one’s needs are met and that they are not disqualified from receiving the benefits they need and rely upon which is why it is helpful to understand special needs trusts as an important estate planning tool.