When should I set up and fund my child’s special needs trust?

When should I set up and fund my child’s special needs trust?

A special needs trust can be the most important savings account your child with special needs will ever have. It should be set up as soon as you know that your child has special needs, and funded through ways that will help keep future government benefits in place.

The money you put into a special needs trust will supplement government benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The trust should be set up as soon as possible but whether it is funded now or not until the parents have passed depends on each family’s situation.

There are various ways to fund the special needs trust you establish for your child, such as life insurance, payable after the parents’ deaths; savings and investments, including retirement accounts; gifts, assistance, and inheritances from friends and family members; property, such as the family home or vacation house; and a public employee retirement pension, such as TRS and SURS.

A special needs trust can be used to help cover things not covered by Medicaid or SSI,

A special needs trust is designed for the beneficiary, otherwise known as your child with special needs, and not the trustee. That means that a trustee cannot use it for their own benefit but only for your child. Select your trustee carefully, make sure the person is honest and financially savvy enough to make important money decisions for your child with special needs.

To set up a special needs trust, contact an attorney with extensive experience in working with families who have a child with special needs. A special needs trust is imperative, and should be set up as soon as possible for your peace of mind and to protect your child. An attorney also will ensure your trust is established so that important government benefits for your child are protected. Don’t wait. As with estate planning, the time to plan for the future is now.

Rubin Law is the only law firm in Illinois exclusively limited to providing compassionate special needs legal and future planning to guide our fellow Illinois families of children and adults with intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, or mental illness down the road to peace of mind. For more information, email us at email@rubinlaw.com or call 866-To-Rubin.