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Care for your loved ones who have special needs

Caring for a child who has special needs can invoke fear in parents. One of these fears is that there won't be anyone to care for the child if something happens to the parents. Some people don't understand that your child might need care even when they reach adulthood. Planning for this is critical so that you can ensure they'll have the care they need once you're gone.

You can handle this through a special needs trust, which enables a person who receives assistance from needs-based programs to continue to receive that help. There are several points you should know about these trusts if you're considering one to help care for your loved one.

Special needs trusts are irrevocable

The reason a special needs trust can help to care for a person who receives needs-based assistance is that they don't have direct access to the contents of the trust. Instead, this is an irrevocable trust that's managed by a trustee who has to disburse the trust in accordance with the terms. Even though it's used to care for the beneficiary, the value of the trust doesn't count as an asset for the purpose of programs like Medicaid.

They can only be used for specific purposes

One thing that you must do when you set up a special needs trust is outline what you want it to be used for. It must be clear that the trust isn't meant as a primary form of support. Instead, it can be used to supplement the person's needs. For example, you might set the trust up to cover entertainment and supplemental medical needs that aren't taken care of by the asset-based programs your loved one counts on.

It's imperative that you word these trusts properly so your loved one can reap the full benefits of them. Your attorney can help ensure that it's set up so it accomplishes your goals. Making sure it's completed properly is imperative because there's a good chance that the contents of the trust won't be able to fully replace the benefits they get through the programs they count on.

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