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How can I best financially protect my child with special needs?

How can I best financially protect my child with special needs?

Many parents of children with special needs worry about the future when they are no longer there to take care of their child. Who will look after my child? Who will financially support my child? What can I do to make sure that my child is always secure?

There are federal and state programs that can provide some level of financial support for qualifying individuals with disabilities or special needs into adulthood. However, these programs offer a modest amount on which to live, so many parents look to supplement this assistance in order to ensure that after the parents pass on, their child will not endure financial hardship.

One of the best ways to do this is to establish a special needs trust. Most simply, trusts are tools that a person, legal entity or business can establish for the care of specified beneficiaries. However, there exists a vast array of trusts and understanding all that this array has to offer can be confusing.

Parents can establish a trust, naming their child with special needs as a beneficiary and then appointing a trustee to administer the trust to ensure the ongoing financial security of the child with special needs.

A trust is a beneficial avenue to pursue in such circumstances because a special needs trust allows the child to inherit money and property without then compromising the child's eligibility to continue receiving assistance under government programs, like Social Security Disability.

An experienced estate planning attorney can assist parents of children with special needs explore this option. The trust can be tailored to accommodate many needs in order to give parents peace of mind.

Source: Forbes, “8 Ways To Benefit From A Trust,” May 14, 2013