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Using a trust to help a child with special needs live alone

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Using a trust to help a child with special needs live alone

If you have a child with special needs, your expectations and plans for the life of that child will change drastically after their diagnosis. Many times, children with special needs have to continue living with their parents even when they become adults. 

However, some children may be able to handle aspects of independent living as they get older. If your child with special needs begins to crave independence as they get older, creating a special needs trust could actually help you support their desire to live independently as an adult.

A special needs trust can help fill in financial gaps

There are employers who will happily hire and train workers with special needs for positions ranging from customer service to baking. However, it is quite common for such positions to pay minimum wage or sometimes even less than standard minimum wage. 

Your child may not be able to afford rent on their own even if they work 40 hours every week. They may also depend on Medicaid or other government benefits to meet their basic needs. Your child may also lack the foresight to directly control their assets without spending their income impulsively. 

Giving your child significant financial help could take away their feeling of independence. It could also keep them from getting state aid. A special needs trust can help cover the costs that your child can’t meet themselves while limiting the use of the assets you set aside for your kid. 

Additionally, careful planning can help ensure that the money received from the trust will not and their eligibility for Medicaid or other crucial benefits. The trustee you name can also provide crucial oversight for your child and their financial decisions. 

How to get started with special needs planning

Carefully planning a special needs trust could help your child live independently even while you’re still alive — not just after you’re gone. Discussing this option with an experienced advocate can help you understand more.