Many families struggle daily with the demands of caring for a family member with health or developmental challenges. Whether it is autism, Parkinson's, cerebral palsy, birth defects or some other debilitating condition, the challenges can be immense. Perhaps one of the more challenging aspects which these families face is making sure that resources are available to provide medical and other necessary benefits over the course of the family member's lifetime.
A Special Needs Trust is an irrevocable trust that is set up to provide for certain needs of a disabled person. The trust may supplement the person's needs but may not duplicate those needs provided by governmental disability programs such as SSI and Medicaid.
As with most questions under the law, the decision whether a person should leave an inheritance to a disabled beneficiary is that "it depends." However, in most instances, if a beneficiary is disabled or incapacitated, you should consider whether a special needs trust is required.