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How can I benefit from a special needs trust?

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A special needs trust is an important component of any estate plan for parents who are raising a special needs child. Obviously, parents with special needs kids are going to be worried about what kind of care their children will receive when they die. Parents will also worry if anyone could provide the level of care and love that they give to their child on a daily basis.

While it's true that no one can ever replace you, the cold, hard reality is that you may not always be available for your child. You need to create some kind of a structured plan that honors your child's different life stages, from young child, to preteenager, to teenager, to adult and even into middle age and elder life. Fortunately, a special needs trust can be made to suit your child's specific needs throughout the rest of his or her life.

If you're concerned that you don't have any money to fund your special needs trust with, not to worry. Many Illinois special needs parents choose to take out a life insurance policy, which -- in the tragic event of the parents' deaths -- would serve to fund the trust with adequate money to provide for the special needs child while they are gone.

When you create a special needs trust, you will maintain control over managing the assets inside the trust. Then, after you have passed away, the appointed trustee will serve as the controller of the funds.

As a trust, your child will remain only the beneficiary, and not the owner of the trust assets. As such, he or she will still get to benefit from vital government programs like Medicaid, SSI and other government benefits that could be disqualified if your child has significant assets of his or her own.

Do you want to set up a special needs trust? An Illinois estate planning lawyer can help you structure your trust in just the manner that you, your child and your family requires.

Source: Findlaw, "Special Needs Trusts FAQ's," accessed June 02, 2017

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