Special Needs Trust
Parents of children with special needs commonly have additional concerns that other parents do not have. While many parents may be able to see their children grow into adulthood and be able to live independent lives, some parents with special needs children will not have the ability to know that their children will ever be able to live independently. If your child has special needs, developmental disabilities or special needs after birth due to an injury or accident, they may need someone to assist them with their financial affairs as well as ensure that they are taken care of throughout their lives. The estate planning needs of a parent with a special needs child is very different than other parents. A Special Needs Trust (SNT) ensures that following a parents death, a child (even an adult child with special needs) will be taken care of financially.
Benefits of a Special Needs Trust
If a parent has a child that they know will be unable to live independently throughout the course of their life, creating an SNT as part of the estate planning process can be advantageous for several reasons including the following:
- Children that have a SNT may still receive SSI or Medicaid financial assistance. The SNT trust provides financial assistance, but only after they first receive money from SSI and Medicaid.
- The SNT ensures that they are not taken advantage of by any unscrupulous person.
- The SNT ensures that your child will not disqualified from governmental benefits upon receiving an inheritance.
- Any SNT funds are used directly for your child, and can never be used to pay any creditors that you may owe in your lifetime.
- SNT funds do not need to be used to pay back benefits received upon the death of the child.
There are some challenges to creating a SNT but these challenges are mostly financial in nature, and unfortunately an SNT will only be available to certain people who are able to afford this type of trust. However, visiting with an experienced estate planning attorney can help you determine your financial goals for both you, and your child with special needs for the entirety of their lifetime.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
Only you will know whether a special needs trust will work for your specific situation. However, if you have a special needs child, there are many different estate planning tools that may benefit your unique circumstance. Contact the experienced Prince Frederick estate planning attorneys serving southern Maryland at the offices at Meng Law at 410-449-1647 or online today to help ensure that your child’s legal rights are always protected, even after your pass away.