The purpose of a Special Needs Trust is to provide resources for a disabled person in an effort to enhance the quality of their lives. A Special Needs Trust can also be used to maintain eligibility for Supplementary Security Income (SSI) and/or Medicaid. A Special Needs Trust can provide for all other needs that SSI and Medicaid do not provide. This type of trust can be used for the benefit of a wide variety of individuals. Depending on the needs of your loved one, you may want to consider a Special Needs Trust in Fayetteville.
Individuals with Permanent Special Needs
If someone who is disabled is still capable of earning a living, that person may not be eligible for government assistance, such as SSI or Medicaid. A special needs trust is most commonly used for those who have a permanent or severely disabling condition. Individuals with blindness, organic brain damage, chronic mental illness, physical paralysis (paraplegia), developmental disabilities, Down syndrome or congenital disabling afflictions such as cerebral palsy or cystic fibrosis are generally automatic beneficiaries of government benefits.
Individuals with Special Needs Who Does Not Need Government Assistance
Most of us cannot know with certainty whether our loved ones will need SSI or Medicaid. So it is wise to create a special needs trust, so you do not have to be concerned about your loved one receiving an inheritance. Most special needs trusts are drafted so that the trustee has the power to terminate the trust if it is no longer necessary.
Individuals Who May Need Government Benefits Later
Your loved one may not be disabled now, but may need assistance from SSI or Medicaid in the future because of a condition that will likely get worse. Although it may be difficult to anticipate that person’s future needs, and will likely require some guesswork, it makes sense to create a special needs trust now. You can always give the trustee the power to terminate the trust if it is not actually needed.
Individuals Who Cannot Manage Finances
For those who are unable to prudently manage an inheritance a special needs trust can be a wise decision. Trusts created for this purpose are often called “spendthrift” trusts, because they are generally used to keep assets out of the hands of a beneficiary (and of his or her creditors) and, instead, in the control of a trustee. For example, someone with mild developmental disabilities, mild autism, attention deficit disorder or bipolar syndrome might benefit from a trust, because it will prevent reckless spending of an inheritance. This is true even if the individual is not considered disabled.
Protecting a disabled loved one from being the victim of fraud is another good reason to use a special needs trust. The unfortunate reality is that there are many dishonest people out there who specifically target individuals with mental or physical disabilities that they believe have money. A special needs trust can prevent your loved one from falling prey to those predators.