Caring for a loved one with special needs involves meticulous planning and one important aspect to consider is establishing a special needs trust.
This legal arrangement provides financial security and peace of mind for individuals with disabilities.
Comprehensive financial inventory
In 2023, only 46% of Americans aged 55 or older had a will, but you need much more than a simple will to protect your assets and heirs, especially if you have children with special needs. Begin by creating a detailed inventory of your loved one’s financial resources. Include information about savings, investments and any existing insurance policies.
Clear and specific instructions
Clearly define the purpose of the trust and specify the uses of the funds. Include clear details so the trustee makes financial decisions that support your loved one’s well-being.
Appointing a trustee
Select a trustworthy and responsible trustee. This individual will be responsible for managing and distributing the funds according to the trust’s provisions. Consider someone with financial acumen and a genuine understanding of your loved one’s needs.
Life is unpredictable, and the future may bring unforeseen circumstances. Incorporate contingency plans within the trust to address potential changes. This might include appointing alternate trustees or adjusting the terms of the trust to accommodate evolving needs.
Address healthcare needs. Specify the coverage of medical expenses. Make sure that the trust provides the best possible care for your loved one’s health and well-being.
Government benefit coordination
Understand the impact of the trust on your loved one’s government benefits. Craft the trust in a way that complements, rather than jeopardizes, their eligibility for important assistance programs.
Regularly review the trust’s provisions and update them as needed. This ensures that the trust remains aligned with your loved one’s current situation and future aspirations.