What is a special needs trust?

Trusts are strong legal estate planning tools that can help families set up effective and efficient means of transferring wealth at death and avoiding the challenges of probate. Before a New Jersey resident endeavors to establish their own trust, they can choose to speak with an knowledgeable estate planning attorney to better understand their trust options.

One form of trust that may support the testamentary desires of estate planners is the special needs trust. This post does not offer legal advice on special needs trusts, but introduces them as a consideration for those who want to know more about their estate planning opportunities. Estate planning lawyers should be consulted before individuals make important decisions about the management and administration of their end of life estates.

The purpose of a special needs trust

A trust is a legal device into which a person may place ownership of property for the benefit of another person. The recipient party, known as the beneficiary, enjoys the value of the trust in whatever form it is established, and often the trust will expire or end when the beneficiary dies. A special needs trust is a kind of trust intended to benefit beneficiaries who live with mental and physical disabilities.

Special needs trusts are established with the needs of the beneficiaries in mind. They can be used to pay for the long-term care of special needs individuals and can help provide them with their life essentials when they are unable to do so on their own. Benefiting from a special needs trust does not preclude a person from receiving government benefits because of their disability or need; this is one of the most important reasons families use special needs trusts to help their disabled relations.

Getting started to establish a special needs trust

Special needs trusts require care in their planning and execution. They must conform to estate planning laws and must meet certain criteria in order to be valid. Estate planning attorneys can help their clients work through the requirements of setting up special needs trusts and other important estate planning tools. There is no reason for individuals to approach estate planning on their own. Attorneys who work in the field are prepared to answer their questions and help them protect their assets and property as they plan for the future.