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Why parents should consider special needs trusts

Parents in Nevada and throughout the country may be tasked with raising children who have a mental or physical disability. These disabilities may make it difficult or impossible for children to provide for themselves when they are older. One way that parents can provide for their special needs children is to create a special needs trust. A primary benefit of a trust is that it protects a child's inheritance against creditor claims.

Putting money or other assets into a trust instead of giving it to the child directly may allow that child to access government benefits. Government programs such as Medicaid are typically only available to those who don't have the means to provide for themselves. Therefore, giving money or assets directly to a special needs child could threaten his or her ability to use them. The trust typically takes effect when the parents pass away.

Anyone can fulfill the role of the trustee, but it is generally a good idea to have a professional oversee the trust. This is because he or she will have a fiduciary responsibility to the child. The trustee is responsible for paying bills and otherwise meeting the needs of the disabled beneficiary. Special needs trusts can be funded with as much money as a parent feels comfortable contributing to it.

The use of a special needs trust may make it easier for parents to care for their children as they get older. It might also make it easier for a child to inherit from a parent or grandparent without losing access to programs designed to help meet his or her needs. An attorney may be able to explain how to create a trust as well as other benefits of doing so. Legal counsel may also review trusts that already exist.

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