Special Needs Trusts Are Not Only For Wealthy Families

IMG_2200We were recently invited to attend the Connecticut Department of Development Services Resource Fair Family Forum Open House at the Channel 3 Kids Camp.

The goal of the open house was to help families secure resources related to developmental disabilities, and we were there to discuss supplemental (special) needs trusts.

It was wonderful to speak with families, and hear what questions are often on their minds.

One of the questions we were frequently asked was:

“Do I have to have a lot of money to need a special needs trust?”

The answer is no.

Freed Marcroft assists all types of families in preparing for the future of their child with a disability. Special needs trusts allow a person with a disability to have additional assets and still qualify for benefits, and allow family members to leave an inheritance to a person with a disability without disrupting his or her entitlements. The trust can also provide funds to the family member with a disability for supplementary services like clothing, home visits, and cell phone service. The trust creates protection against creditors, and, most importantly, assures family members that their relative with a disability will continue to live a dignified life. We work with a non-profit trustee, PLAN of CT, which accepts trusts of any size, keeps costs low, and works with families at all income levels.

Importantly, families do not need to immediately put money into (or “fund”) their trust right away. For example, many families establish trusts when their family member is young, but do not fund the trust until the parents’ death.

We establish supplemental needs trusts to benefit people with all types of disabilities. Some people may be profoundly affected by their conditions, others may be nearly independent but in need of some critical support. Some beneficiaries start needing a trustee’s assistance as their parent or primary caregiver ages, others do not need any support until their parent passes. Special needs trusts beneficiaries include people with developmental disabilities mental illness, autism, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, and visual impairments.

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Written by Meghan Freed