If you’re a parent and are considering establishing a special needs trust for your child, chances are, you’re starting off at the helm alone. You’re a highly-capable decision maker and could certainly make phone calls, read articles, and gather the research necessary to:
- Determine whether a special needs trust is an effective tool for your child,
- Find a trustee, and
- Complete the process to establish the trust.
However, different obstacles and complexities could arise to slow or halt your progress. Why do it alone, when an experienced professional can navigate the waters with you?
A neutral settlement planner can not only connect with your family and provide reassurance and support, but he or she can also provide the advice you need to help you through the upcoming decisions.
Is a Special Needs Trust the Answer?
When a person obtains an injury settlement, the money received may not be enough to provide necessary ongoing medical care alone. Protecting the disabled individual from disqualification from supplemental security income (SSI), Medicaid, and other needs-based government benefits is critical to his or her future well-being and comfort.
A special needs trust can be established for individuals under age 65 who are considered “disabled” by governmental standards. A special needs trust allows a person to have income held in trust for their benefit without their assets being disqualified from needs-based benefits.
Decisions to Make
If you and your settlement planner decide that a special needs trust is the best route for your child, there are many decisions to make. These include:
- Jurisdiction for the trust
- The choice between an independent trustee and a professional trustee
- Whether to designate a money manager aside from the trustee
- A fee schedule
Each of these decisions is a critical component to a successful trust.
A great place to start learning about the process and decision points is with a loyal settlement planner. Building a comprehensive plan requires experience of many levels. Our firm has consulted on hundreds of special needs trusts of all kinds. We would be glad to assist you and answer any questions you have. We also invite the families of disabled individuals to join our Parents Caring For Special Needs Kids Facebook community, where members share stories, advice, and support.
Contact the experienced settlement planners at Milestone Consulting to plan your loved one’s future. We believe a settlement planner dedicated to civil justice and the trial bar must live by their reputation, and our experts are ready to help.
About John Bair
John Bair is an experienced settlement planner and financial consultant. He helps families develop strategies to provide lifelong financial support for children with disabilities, catastrophic injuries, special needs, and congenital abnormalities. Read more about John’s work and his firm, Milestone Consulting, at http://milestoneseventh.com/.
A West Point graduate where he served as captain and military aviator, John Bair continues his commitment to our country through his efforts within the settlement planning industry. He has represented families of victims lost in the Flight 3407 crash, offered pro bono services to the families of 9/11 victims and drafted the first consumer protection bill for plaintiffs (H.R. 3699).