A parent's concern for his or her child's future is somewhat different when that child is disabled in some way. These parents have to not only consider how to best leave their children their inheritances but also how the inheritances will be handled on behalf of their disabled children. A special needs trust is a good way for Maryland parents to protect their special needs children after they are gone.
A special needs trust is specifically designed for the special needs individual who will be left behind after his or her caregiver's death. It can be funded through life insurance policies, regular governmental benefits, an inheritance from anyone designating the trust as a beneficiary, by gifts and several other ways. The money in the trust can be used for transportation, health and medical care, and other necessities that are not covered by government funding, but it cannot be used for basic essentials, such as food and housing.
One of the major decisions when setting up a trust is deciding who will look after the trust and the disabled individual once the primary caregiver is gone. It is important to appoint someone who will keep the best interest of the intended individual in mind. That person should also be familiar with the individual's routine, his or her doctors and medical conditions, and any special circumstances that could arise. If there is no family available to help, there are professional caregivers and advisors that can be appointed.
There are other ways that a disabled person can get financial help, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) through the Social Security Administration. This is only for those individuals who have less than $2000 worth of resources, but it can supply money for basic needs, such as clothing, food and shelter. One way to find a solution for a disabled child is to speak with an estate planning professional. In Maryland, estate planners can advise a caregiver on how to set up a special needs trust and give advice on other options that are available.
Source: app.com, "What financial plans required for special needs kids?", Devin Loring, Feb. 21, 2015