Special needs trusts allow a disabled beneficiary to receive gifts, lawsuit settlements, or other funds without losing eligibility for certain government programs. Such trusts are drafted so that the funds will not be considered to belong to the beneficiary in determining eligibility for public benefits.

Special needs trusts are designed to pay for items or services that are not covered by public funds. If the trust is sufficiently funded, the disabled person can also receive spending money to use for quality-of-life enhancing expenses.

Special needs trusts are frequently created by a parent or other family member for a child with special needs, even though the child may be an adult by the time the trust is created or funded. Such trusts can also be set up in a will as a way for an individual to leave assets to a disabled relative.

Sometimes, a disabled individual can create the trust himself. “Self-settled” trusts are frequently established by individuals who become disabled as the result of an accident or medical malpractice and later receive the proceeds of a personal injury award or settlement.

Attorneys at Hinkle, Fingles & Prior have years of experience helping families and individuals plan and develop special needs trusts to protect assets and improve the quality of life and care of their loved ones. Call today to learn more.