The intent of a trust is the protection and retention of certain assets for a beneficiary. While the legal and financial objectives behind the creation of a trust differ on a case-by-case basis, you may find this estate planning tool to be especially beneficial if you care for a loved one with special needs.
Whether you have a special needs child or you are the guardian of a person who has unique challenges, a special needs trust can be a way for your New Jersey family to ensure his or her care long into the future. This step could be both a useful and practical addition to your existing estate plan.
The benefits of this type of trust
Special needs trusts have the specific intent of setting aside assets to ensure that a person who cannot make decisions independently will have medical care and other basic needs met. It is possible to tailor a special needs trust to meet specific needs and goals depending on the abilities and requirements of the individual beneficiary. Some of the benefits of this type of trust include:
- A special needs trust allows you to appoint a beneficiary to oversee the use and distribution of the trust assets.
- It sets money aside so that it does not affect a special needs individual's ability to collect government housing or medical benefits.
- This type of trust provides a vehicle by which you can leave an inheritance or protect damages from a personal injury claim.
While you may already have a will, this is not an effective or practical way to set aside money for a special needs child or family member. With a trust, you can be certain that your loved one will always have access to appropriate care, food, clothing, shelter and other basic needs, even long after you are gone.
Estate planning for your specific needs
There is no way to predict the future, but with a complete and updated estate plan, you can exercise control over what will happen to your assets, even years down the road. Caring for an individual with special needs can be stressful and complicated, but with a certain type of trust, you can be confident that his or her needs are secure.
You would be wise to keep your estate plan updated and aligned with your current life circumstances, whether that means updating a will, adding a special needs trust or taking other steps to protect your interests.