Why does my disabled child need a Special Needs Trust?
If careful estate planning is not done your family may lose the benefits and care that they deserve when we are gone. By setting up a Special Needs Trust now, you can avoid not only the potential problems with gifts and inheritances to your child, you can also ensure that they will have the care they deserve when you are no longer able to protect them.
Almost all people with disabilities need a Special Needs Trust if they will need to be eligible for SSI and Medicaid either as a child or an adult. Once a person qualifies for SSI, they automatically qualify for Medicaid which is critical as it pays for medical expenses of the special needs person before and after the parent’s deaths which could otherwise drain significant assets from the child’s family. A Special Needs Trust is a type of trust that can hold assets for and distribute payments for your child with a disability while at the same time preventing them from being disqualified from receiving SSI or Medicaid. Although the child is named as the beneficiary of the trust, the assets are not counted as their available resources because the assets are not within their control. Therefore, a child can have millions of dollars in a Special Needs Trust and still qualify for SSI and Medicaid.
A Special Needs Trust also provides for enriching life experiences such as music and art lesson or horseback riding lessons. It can also provide for special dietary needs or uninsured medical and dental expenses as well as other specialized needs and medical equipment.
Every parent of an child who is physically, emotionally or mentally challenged worries that, when the parent or guardian is gone, the child may be robbed of the opportunity for a safe and enjoyable life. That is why with help and careful consideration, it is possible to create a financial and legal safety net that protects the Special Needs Child, the family as a whole and the flow of cash benefits paid by the state for the disability.