A special needs trust makes sure your child with special needs has what he or she needs in the future in the event that you can no longer be there to provide or care for your son or daughter. The trust may also be created to give another person control over your child's property, real estate and finances. The person who takes over control of these assets is known as a trustee, and he or she is in charge of doling out and managing assets for your child until your child no longer needs that assistance. Here are three facts you need to know about setting up a special needs trust.
1. The trustee has control, so choose wisely
It's up to the trustee to make purchases and to manage the trust for your child. If the trustee were to give your child money directly from the trust, it could impact your child's ability to access governmental benefits, like disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income. The trustee makes all final decisions with regard to how the accounts are managed, so choose the trustee wisely.
2. Governmental benefits and a trust work well together
Since the trust does not pass through your child's hands, your child maintains eligibility for governmental benefits, even though you have supplemented his or her care with the trust's assets. The Social Security Administration ignores trust assets, giving your child the right to get the same benefits anyone with recognized disabilities is eligible to receive in the United States.
When creating the trust, make sure to mention that it is providing supplemental and extra care beyond governmental assistance. This also helps guarantee that your child's governmental assistance will continue. Also mention the Social Security Operation Manual sections that apply to your child's special needs and the creation of a trust.
3. A pooled trust is a possibility
A pooled trust is a special needs trust managed by a nonprofit organization. It typically uses funds from multiple families and then invests those funds for the disabled beneficiaries. Each person in a pooled trust still has a specific trustee and trust, so if you don't know who you want to have as a trustee, choosing to work with a pooled trust organization is an option.
Your child is special to you and requires additional care. A trust fund helps provide extra assets to your child without impacting needed governmental assistance. Your attorney can help you create a special needs trust that meets the needs of your child now and in the future, so you know that your child will always be taken care of.