Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Kiplinger recently ran an article, How a Special Needs Trust for Your Child Can Fall Apart, which explains
Parents of disabled children must juggle a lot of responsibilities: work, bills and of course caregiving. But one ball they can’t afford to drop is special needs planning. One wrong move in this complicated ballet balancing benefits and services with asset rules could be disastrous. While every family’s situation is unique, the laws regulating special needs trusts are complex and can require some strategizing by families and trust companies — and if necessary, utilization of available government and nonprofit support programs.
The article reviews the laws, the requirements for a valid third party SNT and highlights one person's experiences, an attorney's advice for the person and advice for parents of children with special needs.
The key takeaway from this story is that it is essential that parents of a disabled child learn about federal, state, local community, charitable and other nonprofit support programs that may help. They must also discuss eligibility rules with relatives who may want to make gifts for the child, leave a share of their estate, include the child in a beneficiary designation for a retirement plan or life insurance or provide other types of in-kind support and maintenance.
Finally, setting up a special needs trust requires planning, legal and financial expertise, and the proper and compassionate administration of a professional trustee.