Is establishing a special needs trust necessary for our child?

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2020 | trusts

There may be days when it feels like you and your spouse are the only people in North Carolina who genuinely understand what your son or daughter requires to thrive. 

Establishing and funding a special needs trust might give you the peace of mind that he or she will have enough money to continue with the best quality of life possible. While not strictly required, Forbes outlines advantages that could help protect your child’s interests once you and your partner are no longer alive. 

Special needs trusts 

Depending on the abilities of your child, he or she may not have the understanding necessary to handle financial duties like paying for housing. Furthermore, a limited cognitive ability could make your child a target for fraud or other untrustworthy activities. 

A special needs trust can protect the money and ensure that it will go towards fund your child’s future according to your instructions. Knowledgeable attorneys can also structure these trusts to provide for your child without preventing his or her access to government benefits like Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income. 

Survivorship life insurance policies 

You have several options for funding a special needs trust. Although specifying an inheritance is probably the most common method, you could also consider a survivorship life, or last-to-die, insurance policy. 

Survivorship policies pay a certain amount to the beneficiary after all policyholders, e.g., you and your spouse, have passed away. When you open the policy, you can have the benefit paid directly to the trust. Additionally, since special needs trusts generally bypass probate court, the trustee could begin assisting your child’s finances relatively quickly.