Special Needs Trust

If you have someone in your life with special needs, the best thing you can do for them is create a Special Needs Trust.

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Those with special needs should have special protection - a Special Needs Trust can offer exactly that.  

In many ways, a Special Needs Trust (SNT) is like any other Trust - it allows you to create a safeguard around someone vulnerable in your life. Trusts are estate planning tools that can offer many levels of protection. In the case of a loved one with special needs, one of the most important aspects of an SNT is it can ensure the beneficiary remains eligible for the government benefits they often depend on.

Taking the time to set up a Special Needs Trust will help you feel secure in the knowledge that anybody in your life with a disability - whether it be mental or physical - will have access to the assets in their Trust without risk. 

After creating a Special Needs Trust, you’ll be able to take a deep breath knowing that you’ve done everything in your power to protect your loved one.

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How They Work

How Does a Special Needs Trust Work? 

If you’re already familiar with Trusts, then you probably have a general idea of how a Special Needs Trust can work. It’s similar to other types of Trusts, just with a specific goal of protecting the benefits of those living with special needs. Special Needs Trusts can help with:

  • Care

  • Education

  • Travel expenses

  • Therapy 

  • A personal attendant

  • Clothing/furniture/computers/phones

  • Entertainment expenses - concerts, movies, etc.

Special Needs Trusts Are Irrevocable
There Are Three Types Of Special Needs Trusts
Taxation Can Be Complicated
Special Needs Trusts Are Complex
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What can’t a Special Needs Trust do?

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SNTs can be useful in a number of ways to protect someone with special needs. But, there are certain things the Trust can’t help you with. Some of these might include:

  • Assets Can’t Go Directly to a Beneficiary
    SNT assets can be used to pay for things, but the money needs to go directly to a vendor or service provider, not the beneficiary directly. Another option is the Trustee can use Trust assets to pay for things.

  • Funds From an SNT Can’t Pay For Certain Things
    SNTs aren’t intended to pay for monthly bills, food or house repairs.

  • Mortgages, Rent, Etc. Can’t Be Paid For out of an SNT
    While basic monthly or annual costs of housing can’t be paid for out of a Special Needs Trust, it can be possible to use funds in the Trust to purchase a home outright. Note there are strict rules about how the property would need to be titled, so be sure to review specific state laws.

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