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About special needs trusts

Wisconsin residents who have a loved one with a disability may consider a special needs trust to assist with their financial needs. The trust can be used to enhance any government benefits that special needs individuals receive. When it is drafted properly, a special needs trust will not interfere with an individual's eligibility for government benefits.

A trust involves a donor who will provide the assets that are placed into the trust. The donor's instructions for a trust are typically detailed in document. A trustee will be responsible for managing the funds in accordance with the donor's wishes, ensuring that the beneficiaries will receive distributions of the funds on a predetermined schedule.

Trusts have long since been a staple of estate plans, and when developed properly, they can almost guarantee that the donor's assets will be managed as they wish. Trusts are popular estate planning tools as they offer an inexpensive way to manage assets when the donor is deceased.

A special needs trust is designed to manage assets to benefit a special needs person without preventing them from being able to qualify for essential government benefits. The three main kinds of special needs trusts, which are the third-party trust, the pooled trust and the first-party trust, all name the individual with the special needs as the beneficiary of the trust.

With a third-party special needs trust, the funds owned by other people who want to assist the special needs person are held in the trust. A pooled trust contains assets from multiple beneficiaries with special needs. A first-party trust contains the assets, such as from an accident settlement or inheritance, that are owned by the person with special needs.

A family law attorney may assist clients with resolving disputes regarding the custody of a special needs relative. Litigation might be used to protect a client's rights.

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