A special needs trust is a must have for families of special needs adults. As a parent, you understand as well as anyone the time and money required to provide for individuals with special needs and at some point, you will not be there to give this help.
An important aspect of special needs planning is the power of attorney. You should establish this legal recognition as soon as the person achieves adulthood and as always name successors in your paperwork. Power of attorney can be for healthcare issues or power of attorney for financial decisions on the individual’s behalf. In many cases, one person is selected for both roles.
Many special needs individuals will qualify for government programs to alleviate some of their needs. The majority of programs will have limits on the income and assets that an individual can have in their own name. Exceptions are made for the individual’s home, an auto and most personal items. Special needs planning can allow the person to remain within these strict guidelines. The trust will control the assets and incomes will not count as income for the beneficiary as long as they are not receiving income directly.
The trust can also pay for vacations or other activities directly to benefit your loved one. Special needs individuals will often have activities that provide them great joy. It may be a day on the slopes or tickets to sports or musical performances. You can insure that these events will remain in their lives when you are gone.
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