does anyone's child/young adult have a special needs trust?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by ctmom05, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    My Dad set aside money for each of his 3 grandchildren, to be given to them when they turn 21 - even tho he is 9:) years old and still alive. My youngest will be 21 at the end of this month.

    His mental health issues have impacted him tremendously over his life and probably will continue to do so; altho he enjoys relative stability for extended periods of time. His regular source of income has been SSI for some time now.

    It is our wish that my son's benefits(including medicaid) be protected and there is a vehicle to do this; called a special needs trust fund(d4a). I am trustee; my son understands and is agreeable to the guidelines that govern this.

    I'd like to hear from others who have set up a special needs trust fund for their young adult.; what was your experience like?
  2. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Well our children aren't 'special needs', but our entire estate is set up to be in a trust in the event of our simultaneous deaths. We appointed a guardian/trustee to manage the trust until our children are 25 years old. It is not a relative - but a professional who (we hope) would remain objective in allocating needed funds.

    When we approach that 25 year old mark, we will reassess whether or not we feel they are mature enough to handle managing the trust.

    I would encourage you to consider a professional trustee. The problem you could possibly run into is your son wanting at 'his money' - and you being the gatekeeper. It could create conflict in my opinion.

    You may want to consult with your lawyer for specific laws in your state. We did, and it was well worth the money we spent.
  3. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    This matter is going thru my lawyer. There is NO way that I would have it otherwise.

    I understand your point about being the big bad gatekeeper. As a team we have talked this thru thoroughly, and based on my experience I feel up to the job. Of course, having a nuetral thrid party take over is an option at any point.
  4. Jena

    Jena New Member


    i've seen these before and handled the doctor's on them at my old job. It's a lengthy process document wise, yet you are doing it thru an attorney so it's all good you don't have the leg work invovled.

    it's great that he did that. there may come a day when these monies could be very helpful to him.
  5. Momslittleangels

    Momslittleangels New Member

    The other issue you might want to run by your lawyer is whether or not he can officially keep this money segregated for purposes of qualifying for SSI and Medicaid. The government only allows limited assets to continue that qualification and even if it is in your name as guardian, they still might consider it HIS assets. My oldest ran into that with a structured settlement she has been receiving since 18. She gets chunks of money every few years until she reaches 25 and they look at those assets.

    Good luck!
  6. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member


    The d4a trust is specifically set up for the reasons you mention. Benefit providers, such as the feds - SSI, or state services cannot lay claim to to any portion of the funds in determining eligibility or as reimbursement for past benefits.

    This type of trust(there are many other types) is expected to be used for things that are not covered by other benefits that he receives.

    The attorney charges several hundred dollars to set the trust fund up, because as Jennifer describes it is a lengthy process with lots of paperwork.

    The d4a looks as tho it will be a very useful tool for us.
  7. Momslittleangels

    Momslittleangels New Member

    That sounds wonderful. Good luck!