When should I consider creating a special needs trust?

| Jan 28, 2021 | estate planning

A disabled child may require assistance when issues such as budgeting or health care decisions arise. You may wish to consider a special needs trust and name an individual to manage your child’s affairs after your death. 

You may name a trusted individual, a relative or a professional representative to serve as your child’s caretaker. As noted by Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine, you may also choose more than one individual to carry out the instructions outlined in a special needs trust. 

What responsibilities may a special needs trust cover?

The written instructions contained in your trust may include making complex decisions such as handling investments or managing real estate. A trustee’s responsibilities generally include paying a beneficiary’s expenses, maintaining records and communicating with a health care provider. As noted by Bankrate.com, he or she may also file annual income tax returns on behalf of the trust. 

If your child has specific needs regarding medical treatment, you may specify how often a trustee schedules appointments. He or she may cover billing issues and corresponding with your child’s insurance provider. Overseeing your child’s school, therapy and extracurricular activities may also fall under a trustee’s duties. 

How may I fund a trust for my child?

As part of your estate plan, you may include a trust in your will or fund it through an insurance policy. Because a special needs trust maintains your property and assets on behalf of a disabled beneficiary, it may not affect a child’s benefits, such as Medicare. 

A special needs trust can provide additional assurance that your intentions for your child’s needs remain documented and clearly outlined. By choosing a reliable and trusted individual to attend to your child’s needs, you may find yourself planning for the future with a greater degree of certainty.