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Home » Estate Planning » How do you fund and use a special needs trust?

If you have a child or other family member under your care with special needs, you may worry about how they will get the care they need if something ever happens to you. Due to a physical or mental incapacity, your loved one might need help with daily tasks, such as getting dressed, practicing good hygiene and eating.

To provide for your family member in the event of your passing, you may consider options such as establishing a special needs trust. Before you use this estate planning option, however, it will likely benefit you to understand how to fund and use this type of trust.

Funding special needs trusts

According to the New Jersey Department of Human Services, you can establish a special needs trust as a parent, legal guardian or grandparent of a person with a disability. These types of trusts hold the assets of disabled persons under the age of 65 years old. You can gift assets to your loved one for deposit into a special needs trust.

Using special needs trust funds

The funds held by special needs trusts have limited use once deposited. These funds can only get used for the sole benefit of the trust’s beneficiary. For example, they may use them for things such as medical and living expenses.

As the caretaker of a loved one with special needs, you likely have many concerns about making sure they get what they need. Working with an estate planning attorney to establish a special needs trust may help give you peace of mind that after you pass away, the needs of your child or family member will still be provided for.