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John Bair
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Special Needs Trusts: 4 Choices Parents will Need to Make


Critical Choices when Establishing a Special Needs TrustIf your child receives government benefits like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and is about to receive a settlement in his or her injury lawsuit, the incoming money could impact his or her eligibility for those benefits. Depending on your situation, one solution might be to establish a special needs trust.

In our short guide to special needs trusts, we explain that this kind of trust is intended to supplement (but not replace) a person’s government benefits by paying for non-covered services or equipment.

As a general rule, the three main goals for a trust are:

  1. Successful management of the money in the trust in the best interest of the beneficiary,
  2. Proper accounting, and
  3. Appropriate handling of the ongoing costs of administration.

That being said, there are four critical choices parents will need to make when establishing a special needs trust for their child:

  1. Choosing a financial manager,
  2. Choosing a jurisdiction,
  3. Choosing a trustee, and
  4. Choosing a fee schedule.

In the infographic to the right, we outline these choices and explain the best approach for each.

We invite you to share this graphic with anyone who may find it useful. In addition, please join us in the Parents Caring for Special Needs Kids Facebook community, where families share resources, experiences and tips. Milestone Consulting is a proud supporter of this community.

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