Answers To Your Questions About Special Needs Planning
The day will eventually come when you are no longer here to look out for your loved one with special needs. However, you can take steps today to make sure a plan is in place so the resources will be provided to ensure that they will be properly cared for. At Johnson, Carroll, Norton & Kent P.C. in Evansville, Indiana, we can guide you through the planning process and leave you with peace of mind about your future and theirs. Read on for answers to commonly asked questions about special needs planning.
Is a special needs trust right for me?
A special needs trust can be used to set aside funds for a child or other loved one who has special needs. It is set up in a way that provides them with financial resources without jeopardizing their eligibility for government benefits such as Medicaid. In addition to preserving eligibility, a special needs trust may be right for you if you are seeking to provide a loved one with the funds for supplemental care and other services related to their disability.
Are all special needs trusts the same?
No. There are many different types of special needs trusts, corresponding with the unique circumstances facing the disabled and their loved ones. However, most special needs trusts fall under the following categories:
- Third-party special needs trusts, funded with assets belonging to someone other than the beneficiary of the trust
- Self-settled trusts, funded with the beneficiary’s assets
Will there be a trustee?
Yes. You can select a trusted individual or institution to serve as trustee. You also have the option of choosing a family member and a professional trustee to serve as co-trustees.
Who will know about the special needs trust?
That is ultimately up to you. However, having an open discussion about your intentions with your loved ones now can help avoid confusion, hurt feelings or legal battles down the road. Setting expectations now while you are here can avoid leaving your chosen trustee in a difficult situation.
How do I know my child or loved one will receive proper care?
Special needs trust can make sure the resources exist but do not specify the exact care. A letter of intent can make your wishes known regarding how you want your loved one to be cared for when you are no longer able to serve as their caretaker. It is not a legally binding document, but it can provide direction and ensure that your voice is heard.