As the parent of a disabled child, you likely have some trepidation about your son’s or daughter’s future. After you die, you may worry your child will lack the funds necessary to have a decent life. This may be true even if your loved one is eligible for needs-based government assistance.
Needs-based programs, like Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid, require recipients to have limited access to income and other assets. A special needs trust, though, does not transfer asset ownership to your disabled child. Accordingly, your son or daughter may access trust funds without jeopardizing his or her eligibility for government assistance.
Naming a trustee
When you form a special needs trust, you name a trustee to oversee it. This individual has a fiduciary obligation to protect your disabled child’s interests. Therefore, your special needs trustee may collaborate with medical professionals, social workers and others to be certain your son or daughter has what he or she needs to thrive.
Making trust disbursements
Even though needs-based programs typically do not provide much financial assistance, they do cover everyday expenses. Consequently, disbursements from the trust may not go to pay for these same costs. Instead, they must fund supplemental expenses, such as the following:
- Out-of-pocket medical care
- Special medical devices
- Recreational expenses
- Rehabilitation and therapy
- Other trustee-approved expenses
Achieving peace of mind and finding joy
Eventually, you are likely to become incapable of caring for your disabled adult child. You may achieve peace of mind knowing that your son or daughter has access to government funds. Creating a special needs trust may also give you some joy, knowing your child has access to funds that enhance his or her quality of life.