Families in Washington with members who have special needs may wish to consider setting up a trust to ensure the preservation and accessibility of assets and property. Creating a trust on behalf of an heir with a medical condition or disability may provide your family member or child with much-needed financial support after you and your spouse have passed away. 

Generally, a trust gives your appointed trustee the authority to manage the allocation of money, property and assets held in custody. Without proper special needs planning, however, your heir may suddenly stop receiving the governmental assistance that he or she has relied upon. As noted by Forbes magazine, setting up a special needs trust may prevent your heir’s disqualification from public benefits assistance after receiving an inheritance. 

Funds transferred to a trust may provide an additional form of future support for a dependent heir already receiving Social Security Supplemental Income and Medicaid. A special needs trust’s overall purpose may include supplementing an heir’s medical and educational needs, along with travel and other personal expenses. The SNT can help preserve your dependent’s quality of life without jeopardizing his or her government benefits eligibility. 

Another reason for establishing a trust is to protect an heir from creditors that your estate may owe at the time of your passing. While your executor generally pays debts from any funds available from your estate, creditors may not have a right to the funds that you transferred to a special needs trust. Creating this trust helps to ensure that your heir will continue to have the required support needed for the rest of his or her life. 

The information provided is for educational purposes only and not intended as legal advice.