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Planning for the future of special needs individuals

On Behalf of | Aug 13, 2020 | Estate planning, Living wills

Parents and guardians of special needs individuals in Delaware know well the challenges associated with taking care of their loved ones. It is also a priority to ensure special needs individuals will receive the same level of care in the future as they enjoy in the present.


One investment vehicle that has proven beneficial to special needs individuals is Special Needs Trusts. Two options exist concerning these trusts.


A first-person Special Needs Trust uses the assets of the beneficiary for funding. An SNT will not disqualify any assistance the trust’s beneficiary receives from the government or other organizations. Assets used to establish the trust as well as the profits earned through the trust is a supplement to the government assistance received by the special needs individual.


Third-party SNTs use assets from a parent, guardian, or other third-party. Third-party SNTs also allow the beneficiary to receive supplemental income without jeopardizing any benefits they receive. However, a third-party SNT can affect SSI benefits.


SNTS provides users with a method for managing assets while maximizing the availability of government benefits. However, some people voice concern over the lack of control maintained over assets and the ability to find a trustee. For these people, options other than SNTs are available.


One option is to transfer the assets to the special needs individuals instead of using them to fund an SNT. This option will work fine in situations where the individual is capable of managing the assets transferred to them and is not concerned with the loss of government benefits.


The second option is to transfer the assets to a third party who will act on behalf of the special needs person. This option works well when a suitable person is available for such a task.


It is never too early to begin planning for the future of a loved one. Individuals interested in Special Needs Trusts may find it useful to speak to an attorney regarding the matter.