Planning for A Special Needs Child

Caring for a child with special needs can bring unique joys but can also require patience, dedication, and understanding. Planning for the future can protect against financial hardships and help the child qualify for public benefits such as MassHealth, Supplemental Security Income, and subsidized housing. "Special needs" trusts, also sometimes referred to as supplemental needs trusts provide management of money for the disabled child and maintain the child's eligibility for government services. 

Take for example a couple with two children, Tom and Frank. Tom has special needs. With no special needs planning, a couple leaves their estate evenly to their children. Frank buys a house and car. Tom uses his inheritance to pay for public services that could have been covered if his parents had planned better.

Supplemental needs trusts allow disabled beneficiaries to receive their inheritance, as well as gifts, lawsuit settlements, and other funds without losing their eligibility for public assistance.

If you have a child with special needs who is unlikely to be able to live and work independently, a supplemental needs trust is a planning tool that should be considered. There's no benefit to waiting either. Parents can be the trustees during their life, and successor trustees will have a history and knowledge of the trust. The trust can receive assets from others, and life insurance may be used to provide funds.

If you are interested in creating a supplemental needs trust for a loved one contact me at