One of the more unique legal documents that’s drawn up periodically is the special needs trust. This type of financial trust is set up for a person who has a disability, which can be physical or mental in nature of both.

While those setting up a trust are usually family members (such as parents), sometimes a close family friend or otherwise connected individual also donates property they deem worthy to the trust.

There’s also a different kind of special needs trust that can be funded with a beneficiary’s own assets but these trusts are more difficult to establish and require a payback to the government for certain benefits received.

The Basis for This Trust

A main basis for creating it stems from the fact that without it, the disabled person’s eligibility for benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid, may be voided if simply given the funds. Since the disabled individual will not have access to the account, those government benefits can continue.

Selecting a Trustee

A trustee, who disperses funds on behalf of the disabled loved one, is the person who makes those financial decisions. That means the individual drawing up the document must select a person or company they believe has the best interests of the beneficiary at heart.

Cash is only one of many types of property that can be used to fund this trust, though the trustee will be given the authority to sell anything that is part of the subsequent trust. This includes such things as real estate, stocks and bonds, vehicles or jewelry.

What Can Funds Be Spent On?

A beneficiary’s disability may prevent them from being otherwise able to pay for items like personal care, educational, medical and dental expenses and any rehabilitation costs that may be involved. The trust can also be used for less important items such as furnishings, vehicles or the ability to travel or simply enjoy life.
In some cases, it’s not appropriate for a special needs to pay for shelter or food but that is not always the case.

The Pooled Trust Or Professionally Managed Trust Option

In some cases, it makes sense to choose a professional to manage the trust. This can be in the form of a bank or trust company that does this sort or work or a pooled (or community) trust can also be turned to.

Peace of Mind

Setting this trust up affords the donor the knowledge that their disabled heir will be properly cared for when they’re gone. Choose the right trustee and the right trust and peace of mind for a beneficiary’s future can be secured. To get started contact an attorney today.

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