Should You Put Your Special Needs Child's Name On His Trust Fund?
If you are the parent of a child with a disability, regardless of the level of severity, you are likely teaching him or her to be as independent as possible. It's important that you treat your child as you would had he or she not been born disabled, as it will increase his or her chances of being successful throughout life, even when you're not around to provide assistance. One way that you can help your child to be as independent as possible as an adult is by starting a trust fund. Once you've decided to start a trust fund and spoken with an attorney regarding trust options, you might be wondering if you should put the trust in your child's name, since you are aware that you may not always be around to assist him or her. Here are things to consider:
How high functioning is your child?
No matter what your child's disability is, you need to determine whether you think he or she would ever have the ability to properly manage a large amount of money. Of course, assisting your disabled child with making independent financial decisions as soon as possible can help prepare him or her for making responsible financial decisions as an adult. Only you or maybe a teacher can predict how responsible you son or daughter might be in the future. The older you child is, the easier it will be to make a determination.
Does your child receive disability benefits?
If your child receives disability benefits from the government and you expect that these benefits will continue into adulthood, then you might very well want to put the trust in someone else's name. Those receiving disability can have their benefits restricted if they own assets totaling more than $2,000 at any given time.
If you're worried that your child may mismanage the money in the future, then you can rest assured that a trustee will be appointed to oversee the trust fund. This will minimize the chances of your child managing the money irresponsibly.
So if you're going to be contacting a lawyer to assist you with family trust options for a special needs child, then you're making a very wise choice. By setting up a trust fund while he or she is still a child, you can save an adequate amount that can provide him or her with assistance for many years in the future. Your attorney can advise you of whose name should be on the trust, even though a trustee will oversee the funds, but if you feel that your child will responsibly manage the money in the future, then by all means, you should put the trust in his or her name.
Visit a website like http://www.lifesplaninc.org/ to learn more about creating a trust fund for your child.