Law Offices of Kathleen D. Schneider
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Estate planning: The need for a special needs trust

Parents in Pennsylvania and across the country want to ensure that the needs of their children are met. Often, they work hard to leave them funds after they pass. As such, careful estate planning can help ensure that any assets left to children are cared for until an appropriate dispersal time. Depending on the needs of a child, a special needs trust may be the best option. 

A special needs trust plays an important role. Because owning assets valued at over $2,000 can jeopardize a person's eligibility for some public funds, how assets are passed to a special needs child is extremely important. Fortunately, a special needs trust does not count toward this amount.

One of the most important questions parents must address when creating a fund is how much will be necessary to ensure the child's well-being after the parents are no longer around. To answer this, several factors must be considered, including housing costs and appropriate care as well as whether there will be allowances for gym memberships, eating out or new electronics periodically. Equally important to consider is who to be the trustee of the fund. An appropriate trustee can ensure can both protect the funds from a child's financial choices as well as prevent the child from being taken advantage.

Because it may be difficult to determine an exact amount, many people creating a special needs trust during the estate planning process in Pennsylvania often want an experienced professional to guide them throughout the process. Such a professional can also help ensure that no decision made with the trust will jeopardize the child's qualifications for public assistance. Knowing that these measures are in place often give parents peace of mind as they contemplate their special needs child's future.

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