Families with resources sometimes wonder if it would be appropriate to establish a special needs trust for their special needs child. They may believe that since they have sufficient wealth, they can provide for the child without going through the trouble of establishing and funding a trust. This reasoning, however, is flawed for a number of reasons, and even the wealthiest families should have a special needs trust in place to care for their special needs child.
To begin with, regardless of family wealth, there is no reason that individuals with special needs should forego benefits to which they are entitled. And without a special needs trust, individuals who would otherwise be eligible for SSI or Medicaid might not qualify for these very important benefits. Also, family wealth is not absolute, and unless money is set aside in a trust, families cannot be certain that their loved one with special needs will have sufficient resources in years to come. And, lastly, money set aside in a special needs trust cannot be attacked by creditors or judgment, so establishing such a trust provides a layer of protection to those with special needs.
In short, a special needs trust can offer a host of benefits to most anybody who has special needs. Regardless of wealth, or lack thereof, families of those with special needs should consult with a special needs trust attorney about their options.