Preparing for your future when you are the primary caretaker of a loved one with special needs requires extra planning. Through thoughtful strategizing and the collaboration of concerned family members, you can maintain some control over the well-being of your disabled family member even after your death.
Implementing a special needs trust is one way you can coordinate long-term care planning for your loved one. Understanding how a trust can provide protection can help you know which elements to focus on as you begin coordinating your own plan.
Clarifying your expectations
As the primary caretaker for your special needs family member, one of your main concerns is making sure that he or she continues to receive critical care even after your death. One of the biggest challenges of caring for another person is the financial obligation. Even though you have carefully developed a method for affording the health care and daily needs of your loved one, you cannot guarantee that others will show the same responsibility.
A trust enables you to establish rules and expectations for the use of financial contributions you save during your lifetime. You can determine who has access to the trust, how much money that approved persons can withdraw at any time and expected uses for the funds. Having a trust reduces the chances of people misusing the funds you have worked so hard to save on behalf of your family member.
Updating your plan
Throughout your life you may encounter changes that impact the special needs trust you have developed. For example, you may get divorced or you may no longer trust someone you originally named as a trustee. According to Fidelity, you should update your plan every three to five years. This periodic assessment of your plan will help you verify its effectiveness despite the circumstantial changes in your life.