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A Special Needs Trust can be a very important tool in protecting and maintaining a high quality of life for a person with special needs.  The following is a list of 5 reasons why you should consider setting up a Special Needs Trust for your family member.

1. A Special Needs Trust can receive inheritances and gifts from family members without interfering with important government benefits, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income.   Since these types of governmental benefits are needs based, a person receiving a large inheritance would be kicked off the government programs and would have to spend down the inheritance to almost nothing before once again qualifying for such benefits.  By having the inheritance go directly into a special needs trust it won’t be counted as an “available” resource and can be used to provide items beyond the basic necessities of life.

2. By creating and funding a trust, money and other assets can be protected by the trustee so that it is available when your loved one needs it most.

3. A Special Needs Trust can set forth guidelines for the appointment and operations of a care manger.  It can provide a good opportunity to specify the type of person or organization who can best assist your family member.

4. The trust can be designed to encourage involvement in sporting activities such as Special Olympics, religious activities, and cultural events.

5. A properly drafted Special Needs Trust agreement can govern the appointment and operation of an advisory committee who can work hard to provide the best outcome for your loved one.