Millions of people in America have family members with special needs, including many people in Maryland. These individuals may be vulnerable for any variety of reasons, from mental health issues to physical disabilities, among other potential issues. And no matter what, family members want to help support them. When it comes to support via financial assets, many Maryland residents find themselves wondering what the best options are.
For some, a special needs trust could be the right option. The idea of a special needs trust is fairly simple: funds are placed in the trust for the benefit for the special needs family member and the funds are used in specific ways that do not impact that family member’s assistance through Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income.
But, the reality is that sometimes the process of setting up this type of trust, and the practical utility of such a trust, is a bit more complicated. There are specific legal requirements for the use of the funds in the trust, but there are specific legal protections for the funds in the trust as well. And, perhaps above all, the trustee needs to be someone who focuses very closely on what is best for the beneficiary because, in most cases, all expenses from the trust are reviewed and approved by the trustee.
Review your options
If you want to help a family member with special needs, a special needs trust might be the right path forward. But, there could be other options as well. Be sure to get the right information for the specific situation you are trying to address and review all available options.