When you and your spouse decide to have children, you probably hoped to give them the best possible start at life. Sometimes, no matter how careful you are during pregnancy, your child is born with a disability. Cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome and Autism are conditions that will impact your child for the rest of his or her life. With love and support from parents, these children can thrive and have beautiful, productive lives. However, you've probably been worrying for years about what will happen to your child when you and your spouse eventually die. It can be a terrifying prospect.
Special needs children and adults are frequently abused by those entrusted with their care. Professional nurses or caretakers could mistreat your child without you there to advocate on your child's behalf. Caretakers and even family members could squander the inheritance left for your child. Without adequate financial support, your child may not be able to live independently and enjoy a decent quality of life. Creating a special needs trust for your child with disabilities can help prevent these worst-case scenarios and offer you and your spouse peace of mind about the future of your special needs child.
Special needs trusts protect assets for your child
You may have already taken steps to provide for your child via inclusion in your last will. Even if you left a substantial portion of your assets to your child, other people could contest your will or estate plan, leaving your child without the inheritance you planned. Although you can take steps to reduce challenges, a trust is a more secure option.
If your child does receive the inheritance as your intended, those assets could preclude your child from receiving assistance, such as Medicaid or Social Security Disability income. A special needs trust is an ideal solution because it cannot be contested in court like a standard inheritance and doesn't count as income for government means tests.
Trusts can offer a host of benefits, and Illinois offers a variety of trusts for your family to choose from. Disbursement can be planned carefully, ensuring that funds continue to paid out for as long as your child lives. You can feel confident that your carefully constructed special needs trust, when fully funded, can ensure your child has the care and support needed to live and long and excellent life without the restrictions imposed by poverty. You also don't have to worry about problems with government benefits or tax issues that could arise as a result of a more traditional inheritance this way. Your assets will be a blessing, not a burden.
An attorney can help protect your child's future
In order to create a legally sound special needs trust, you should speak with an experienced estate and probate attorney who understands trust in Illinois. Your attorney can help you determine how to structure your trust and best protect your child's future and finances after you're no longer there to help.