A special needs child is a child who requires specific care. In many cases, special needs children need to be cared for after they become adults, and they never become fully independent. In other cases, special needs children require costly medical services and round-the-clock attention to ensure that they're healthy and happy.
The responsibilities involved with taking care of a special need child are usually attended to by the child's parents, but what happens if something happens to the parents and they're no longer able to care for their child? This is where a special needs trust comes into play. A special needs trust can give the parents of child with a disability the peace of mind that their child's needs will be met financially, medically and emotionally -- even if they're no longer available.
A special needs trust can provide a source of money that will pay for a child's medical needs, living needs, entertainment needs, living and other comforts while not interfering with the child's ability to receive vital government financial benefits. If parents simply bequeathed assets to a child in a will, these assets could make the child ineligible to receive certain government benefits. In the case of a special needs trust, the trust is the owner of the assets and the child is the beneficiary, so it will not invalidate the child's ability to receive government benefits.
Since every special needs child has different kinds of needs, a special needs trust must be created with the unique child who will benefit from it in mind. Most special needs trusts are designed with various stages of development in mind. For example, the trust will provide a plan for the child while he or she is an infant, then as a young child, a teenager and into adulthood. If you're ready to create a special needs trust for your child, be sure to learn as much as you can about the options available.