Protecting Your Golden Years

With more than 30 years of experience

How can funds in a special needs trust be used?

Having a loved one with special needs can means living life a little differently than other families. Of course, many Georgia families may reach a point at which their routine and differences seem completely normal to them. Still, when parents of a special needs child are considering their estate plan, it is important to remember that they may need to take extra steps when planning to ensure that their child still receives the benefits he or she needs. 

Fortunately, using a special needs trust could allow parents and other loved ones to leave assets to someone with special needs without putting their government benefits at risk. Because government assistance programs are often income based, a sudden influx of money or other valuables could make a person ineligible for those benefits. However, a special needs trust could keep those assets out of direct ownership of the individual but still be used for that individual’s benefit. 

A trustee will manage and distribute the assets of the trust as deemed appropriate, but the assets could be used for the following purposes and more: 

  • Medical expenses not covered by insurance 
  • Education costs 
  • Vehicles  
  • Vacations 
  • Recreational activities 
  • Physical rehabilitation or other similar health programs 
  • In-home personal care 
  • Homeware items 

Most parents want to continue caring and providing for their children for as long as possible, especially if those children have special needs. Exploring the ways in which an estate plan could help them do that may allow many Georgia parents to feel more confident that their children’s needs will be met in the future. Gaining more information on special needs trusts and other planning options may be useful.