What is a special needs trust?

On Behalf of | Nov 22, 2018 | Estate Planning |

There are many people in Cleveland, Tennessee as well as other parts of the greater Chattanooga area that have loved ones with special needs.

Whether a physical or mental handicap, these people may not be able to care of themselves and, even if they are, may need government assistance in order to be able to make it on their own financially.

Unfortunately, because many government programs require a person to be of limited means and income, many people may feel that they are not able to leave an inheritance or gift to their loved one with special needs because doing so could make it hard for them to obtain, or keep, the government support they also require.

This is where some skilled estate planning can be tremendously helpful. For instance, the family of someone who has special needs can consider creating what is called a special needs trust for the benefit of their loved one.

As the name implies, a person can create a special needs trust that clearly spells out exactly what the money in the trust will be used for. In other words, the person receiving the money has very little control over how it is actually spent. Instead, a trustee should see to it that the money is spent on additional medical care, that is, beyond what the government provides, and other legally allowed expenses, thus protecting one’s eligibility for government benefits.

Creating a special needs trust can be a complicated process, and the process leaves little room for oversights are careless mistakes. For this reason, it may be a good idea for a Tennessee resident who has a loved one with special needs to explore the option of a special needs trust with an attorney.


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