You have an adult child who has relied on your for their whole life. They have a disability, and while they can take care of themselves the majority of the time, they still need you to step in from time to time.

The last thing you want to do is to leave them in a difficult situation after you pass away. That’s why it’s time to start looking into a special needs trust and what that could do for your child.

What makes a special needs trust so important?

A special needs trust allows you to leave behind assets for your disabled child or dependent without risking their benefits. With a special needs trust, the assets you bequeath to them don’t go into their name directly. The funds you leave behind won’t be in their normal bank account initially, either. Instead, the assets are held in a trust that is not in your name or theirs. A trustee controls the trust and knows when to distribute funds to your dependent based on how the trust is set up and the rules that are in place.

For example, if you want to have your dependent child have access to $100,000 in funds, you may ask that $300 is distributed monthly to boost their income or to distribute a portion of the income for education, renting an apartment or other needs. It’s up to you to design how the payouts work, but with the protection of the special needs trust, you’ll know that your child’s benefits won’t be affected.

Our website has more on special needs trusts and why they’re important in situations like yours.