Living in Phoenix? How a Special Needs Trust Benefits Your Family

Trusts are a great way to make sure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and used for their intended purpose. Special needs trusts in Phoenix are trusts that fulfill a specific need for disabled children and adults.

What is a Special Needs Trust?

Unlike other types of trusts, special needs trusts are designed to provide additional funds for disabled, dependent adults and children without jeopardizing their eligibility for state or federal benefits like Medicaid or SSI. They are typically established by parents.

Who Qualifies for a Special Needs Trust?

One of our primary concerns as parents is making sure that our children will be financially secure after we're gone. Special needs children are often unable to live independently and need support from Social Security and government-funded medical insurance to survive. Inheritances going directly to the disabled individual can cause them to lose their eligibility.

That's where a special needs trust can fill the gaps and provide you with peace of mind. They're able to side-step the eligibility requirements by providing funds for extras that aren't covered under SSI (Supplemental Security Income through Social Security) or other government benefits. The trust is managed by a trustee.

Special needs trusts are legally valid for the disabled child's lifetime. They cover the costs of all things that add to your child’s quality of life, including, but not limited to, things like clothing, adaptive devices, televisions, travel, medical care not covered by insurance, a vehicle, and the cost of a companion/caregiver.  The assets in the trust must be used only for the benefit of the disabled individual.

The Duties of a Trustee

It is common to have the trustee of your revocable living trust as the trustee of the special needs trust. This can be a friend or family member. Because special needs trusts have specific spending and reporting requirements, sometimes people choose someone else to be the trustee. There are companies, called private fiduciaries, that will serve as trustees for special needs trusts.

Your First Choice for a Special Needs Trust Phoenix

Each state has its own regulations regarding special needs trusts. When you want to establish a trust for a disabled family member in Arizona, the law firm of Susan L. Sandys is a natural choice. By using documents written in simple English, we can work together to make sure your disabled child is protected.

While planning for death and incapacity can be very uncomfortable, I do my best to keep the estate planning experience as casual and chatty as possible.

If you have an estate planning question or a special legal issue regarding a disabled dependent, I have the compassion, experience, and legal knowledge to help. Call to request an appointment today.

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