Trusts are legal and financial vehicles that allow a trustor to protect and control how estate is distributed after death. The ability to provide for survivors and control how assets benefit them is never more important than when parents may leave behind a child with special needs.

Roybal-Mack & Cordova, PC understand that families with children with special needs or disabilities have unique and urgent estate planning needs. We help parents take the legal and financial actions required to make sure that your child with special needs will be taken care of after your passing.

A Special Needs Trust Is More than a Financial Vehicle

In order to protect your child’s future, a special needs trust must do more than plan for the distribution of your estate. A special needs trusts provides the information your child’s caretakers will need through a Memorandum of Understanding.

Through the memorandum of understanding, your surviving child with special needs and the family members or professionals entrusted with their care understand the needs pertaining to your child’s medical condition, education and development. The memorandum of understanding should include details such as:

  • Medical history
  • Names and contact information of current and past medical care providers
  • Health insurance information
  • Dietary restrictions
  • How to soothe the child when crying, frustrated or scared

The memorandum of understanding should also include your wishes or intentions for care as your child grows as that may entail new schools, therapies, treatments, etc.

Types of Special/Supplemental Needs Trusts

All special needs trusts are created to ensure your child’s inheritance is protected from errant distribution and appropriately used for specialized care. However, there are different ways to structure a special needs trust to meet those ends.

The three types of special needs trusts include:

  • Payback or exceptional trust – this trust is created by the person with special needs using their assets and is exempted from some of the Medicare rules that apply to revocable and irrevocable trusts.
  • Third-party trust – this trust is created by transferring the parents’ assets to a trust rather than to the child with special needs directly. This type of trust is often used to protect the child’s access to government benefits that might otherwise be lost if net income or net worth exceeds a certain amount.
  • Pooled trust – this type of trust pools assets of multiple individuals for greater investment/return potential. This trust also includes provisions for the disabled person’s assets after their death.

Special needs trusts are created for those who have a disability as defined by the Social Security Administration for qualification for Supplementary Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). So, a court does not need to approve the creation of a special needs trust. However, a wide variety of factors and considerations will determine which type of special needs trust best meets the needs of your child.

The Legal Team with Special Needs Trusts Experience

The Roybal-Mack & Cordova, PC estate planning team is uniquely qualified to assist you with the creation of a special needs trust. We have an in-depth understanding of Medicare and Social Security programs that may be relied upon to help meet your child’s needs in your absence as well as insight into what information must be included in your special needs trust to ensure your child is cared for as you intended.

Contact us today to schedule an interview with our team. If you are unable to travel to our Albuquerque office, please ask about remote consultation options.

Dedicated Advocacy. Meaningful Results.


Translate »