Do You Need a Special Needs Trust?

Far too often, I see a confluence of two things:

1) misinformation or half-truths about special needs planning, and

2) parents of special needs children who really do their homework.

It can be especially frustrating when attorneys who only know a little about estate planning for special needs beneficiaries, happen to get a hold of a template for a special needs trust.

The fact is that *separate* special needs trusts are not used all that often in estate planning (or at least they shouldn’t be) because the RIGHT kind of revocable living trust can provide all of the protection needed. In some cases, an IRA Trust is needed to separate and protect tax-qualified inheritances, and in this case a separate IRA Trust also needs to have all of the right provisions to protect a special needs beneficiary.

Two specific situations where a separate special needs trust needs to be set up as part of the estate planning process are:

1) someone else, typically grandparents, want to gift or leave an inheritance specifically for a special needs beneficiary, or

2) separate life insurance proceeds are to be earmarked for the special needs beneficiary above and beyond what the other beneficiaries may be getting.

For more information, please see my book “The Simple Guide to Special Needs Estate Planning” available on Amazon through our Linktree account at which lists all of my books.