The benefits of a Supplemental Needs Trust for special needs children

Sep 22, 2014 | Estate Planning

As a child grows up, a parent’s biggest financial concern might be saving for college. But it might be wise to look ahead even further to help ensure your son or daughter is financially prepared for their future.

Fortunately, that’s where a Supplemental Needs Trust (SNT) comes in. These special trust funds were instituted to help parents of special needs children have a secure place to save money for their child’s future, while ensuring that they remain eligible for their governmental benefits. The funds are designed to supplement your child’s future benefits – not replace them — and ultimately enable a person with any sort of physical or mental disability to have access to an unlimited amount of assets in addition to their public health benefits.

As long as your family’s SNT is drafted properly, any money invested into the fund will not be considered countable assets in the qualification for certain governmental benefits. The money may someday even qualify your son or daughter for a Medicare Savings Program. The trust will also be irrevocable and include provisions for termination or dissolution under certain circumstances, as well as include explicit directions for amendment whenever necessary.

But SNTs do have other valuable purposes. Not only can an SNT provide you and your son or daughter with the peace of mind that comes with having a financial cushion, but they also allow the recipient to keep almost all of their income, as opposed to having to use it towards the cost of any future care or home services they may require.

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