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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Bowman

Special Needs Trust

Why is a Special Needs Trust necessary?

  • A special needs trust makes it possible to appoint a trustee to hold property for the benefit of your disabled child after you're gone.

  • A special needs trust also provides for the needs of a disabled person without disqualifying him or her from benefits received from government programs such as Social Security and Medicaid. Eligibility for SSI makes a disabled person eligible for food stamps and Medicaid, which pays medical expenses, nursing home care and mental health services. Medicaid eligibility also makes a disabled person eligible for many local community services, as well. Monthly SSI benefits can be spent on food, clothing and shelter. You would not want to leave property to a disabled child that could disqualify him/her from receiving benefits which could make life better.

  • A special needs trust avoids potential problems within a family. The family will have your wishes and intents spelled out for them. One way to be clear about what you intend for your disabled child's future is to make a "Letter Of Intent" to be given to his or her trustee at the time of your death.

  • Special needs trust money can also be spent for funeral and burial expenses.

The next blog will cover Funding a Special Needs Trust Account.

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