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Special needs trusts can protect loved ones with disabilities

Being a parent is a nerve-wracking job in the best of situations. When you have a child with special needs or disabilities, however, it becomes infinitely more complicated and difficult.

You won't want to make assumptions about what your child can do with his or her life, but you may find yourself worrying about what life will be like after you're not here to provide care and financial support. You have options available.

A special needs trust offers another layer of protection

There are many benefits to creating a special needs trust when you have a family member with a serious disability. For example, a special needs trust can limit how much money your child or the trustee can withdraw in any given month or year, ensuring there will always be adequate resources for future needs.

Assets held in a trust won't necessarily preclude your child from receiving Medicare or Medicaid benefits for health care needs. Other assets could simply be too much, leaving your child's inheritance to end up paying for medical care or a group home facility.

Protecting your loved one from financial abuse

There's another concern beyond the issues of losing assets to pay for medical treatment or improper management of an inheritance: Children and adults with special needs face higher risks of abuse than the general population. There are those who would see your child as vulnerable and easy to prey upon, especially after a substantial inheritance.

You can name one person you implicitly trust as trustee, or you could name two or more people to serve jointly, thus acting as forms of accountability and oversight for one another. By taking the time now to think about the future for your special needs child, you can ensure that you have peace of mind and your child has stability in the future.

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