Why you need a special needs trust in your estate plan

| Feb 28, 2020 | Trusts |

For families of children with special needs, many considerations go into planning for their care should you pass away. Parents with a special needs child know the unique joy of their child comes with specific responsibilities and challenges. In the event of your death, you have to choose a viable guardian and ensure that the assets left to your child will provide the greatest benefit possible.

Understanding the value of a special needs trust

Choosing a guardian for your child is a difficult task. You need to select someone you trust, who would accept the responsibility of providing care and support for your child after you’re gone, despite how long and challenging a task that might be. It is essential that for a child who has special needs, you set up a special needs trust to ensure they’re cared for properly. Here are some of the reasons why a special needs trust can lessen the burden of such a responsibility:

  • Separation of control: The special needs trust must be put in the control of an independent trustee. In some cases, the chosen guardian is deliberately not selected to be in charge of your child’s assets, so there is no temptation to use those assets in unintended ways, thus avoiding a conflict of interest.
  • Tax benefits: Though income taxes on a special needs trust can be quite steep, certain qualified trusts may benefit from higher annual personal tax exemptions than other trusts.
  • Public benefits: Inherited assets, depending on their timing, could interfere with your child’s eligibility for certain public benefits. If those assets reside in a special needs trust, they may be able to receive the benefit of your assets without it interfering with their public benefits status.

Ensuring your child’s future is secured

The considerations made in a well-thought-out estate plan are not easy ones and could include many complications. Don’t put off drafting a plan for these contingencies in your child’s life. Contract an attorney experienced in estate planning to explore your options.