If you are the parent of a child with special needs, you know how complicated it can be to provide the care your child needs. It can be expensive to ensure your child has the medical, educational and practical support he or she requires for a full life. Your concern for your child does not stop as you and your child age, and you want to ensure that you are able to continue providing support even after you’re gone. There are estate planning tools that will allow you to accomplish this goal.
One way you can continue to care for your child with special needs is through a special needs trust. This is an estate planning tool that provides you the chance to set aside and protect assets for a certain reason. Instead of passing assets directly to your child — a step that could have unintended negative consequences — you will benefit from exploring this option instead.
The benefits of a special needs trust
If you have an adult-age special needs child, it is possible he or she has some type of government assistance, whether it is through health care coverage, disability income or housing support. If the individual receives a significant amount of money from a loved one, this could affect their eligibility. A special needs trust allows you to leave money without affecting the beneficiary’s eligibility for benefits. Other benefits of this type of trust include:
- Your child will have the resources to address needs not covered by other benefits.
- Your child will have ongoing support even if you are not there to provide it directly.
- You can name a trusted individual to oversee the distribution of trust assets.
One of the primary benefits of establishing this type of trust is the peace of mind that comes from the knowledge that your loved one will have what he or she needs well into the future.
The ideal estate planning tool
Each Arkansas estate is different, and the specific estate planning tools you need depend on your objectives for your money and property. If you have the goal of protecting a family member who cannot protect and provide for themselves, a special needs trust can help you create a meaningful long-term financial strategy. An assessment of your case can allow you to understand the specific steps you can take to ensure you have a sustainable estate plan.