Estate planning tools like special needs trusts provide immense relief to families facing concerns about the legal and financial security of a loved one with special needs. Specifically, this tool provides special needs individuals with long-term necessary resources without negatively affecting their eligibility for government assistance.
Knowing if and when you need it
Like any other estate planning tool, you must first determine if you need a special needs trust. It is also equally important to know when you need it. You must take into account your loved one’s present and future needs. Special needs planning is not only for preparing for the inevitable death of a loved one, but also for adequately meeting their current needs through all available sources of support.
When deciding, you can ask yourself questions such as “Is the trust’s beneficiary eligible for public assistance to start with?” and “Do I have enough resources to fund the trust?”
Aligning your goals with the requirements
While a special needs trust provides attractive benefits, it will only work well if it complies with the legal requirements. In Maryland, a special needs trust must be irrevocable and the beneficiary must be younger than 65 years old at the time the trust is created. These are only some of the prerequisites you must comply with.
Additionally, you can proactively prevent complications by understanding the common missteps when establishing this type of trust. These mistakes include failing to fund the trust properly, not naming a successor trustee and failing to regularly update the trust. By avoiding them, the trust can work more to your and your loved one’s benefit.
Realize your goals with proper guidance
Laws surrounding special needs trust are complex. It can be especially complicated when you start drafting the trust. Working with an experienced estate planning attorney can help you navigate the process and realize your goals.