The advantages of a special needs trust for your disabled child

At the law offices of John A. Cochran, Esquire, in Pennsylvania, we understand how difficult your life is when you are the parent of a disabled child. Depending on the nature of your child’s disability, you may need to provide him or her with substantial daily care. Naturally you are concerned about who will continue to provide this care if and when (s)he outlives you, which in all likelihood (s)he will.

FindLaw explains that a special needs trust is something you definitely should look into as a method of ensuring that your child will continue to receive the care (s)he needs once you no longer can provide it yourself. When you set up such a trust for the benefit of your child, you can put whatever assets into it you choose, including the following:

  • Governmental benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income
  • Any money that your child inherits
  • Any money (s)he receives in settlement of a lawsuit
  • Any additional money and/or income-producing assets that you wish

Be sure to mention in the trust document the indirect governmental benefits that your child currently receives, such as educational, employment or vocational benefits, subsidized housing, etc. Also be sure to specify the person, agency or facility that will continue caring for your child after your death, plus the trustee who will manage the trust funds and distribute them for the benefit of your child.

Trust advantages

Your child’s special needs trust not only outlives you, but remains in effect throughout his or her own life. This gives you great peace of mind knowing that (s)he will never need for such things as the following:

  • Food, clothing, shelter and other basic needs
  • Medical and dental care
  • A monthly allowance if (s)he is financially responsible enough to handle it
  • Opportunities for vacations and recreational activities

One of the major advantages of a special needs trust is that your child does not own the assets it contains. Instead, the trust owns them. Consequently, your child cannot become disqualified for governmental assistance, either now or in the future, no matter how much money and/or assets the trust contains.

For more information on this subject, please visit this page of our website. 


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John A. Cochran, Esquire
140 S. Main St.
Suite 301
Greensburg, PA 15601

Phone: 724-216-0704
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