Parents in Ohio who have children with special needs may be concerned about how they can best provide for their children in the future, especially if they will need to access government benefits as adults. By using a special needs trust, family members can supplement a disabled person's income from government programs without limiting their eligibility for such income. By creating this type of trust, the beneficiary will be able to receive funds from the trust without limiting their access to government benefits.
A trust involves a donor, usually a family member, who provides the funds that make up the principal of the trust; a trustee, who administers the funds according to the donor's directions; and a beneficiary, who receives the benefits of the funds involved in the trust through disbursements of principal or interest. The donor's wishes are generally laid out in written materials that provide guidance to the trustee in making decisions. They can also remain in place even after the donor's death.
In the case of a special needs trust, a trustee manages the funds in the interest of a person with special needs. In order to qualify for Supplemental Security Income from the government, applicants can only have $2,000 in assets in their own name. However, people can still qualify for SSI if their assets are held in a trust.
Families of people with special needs can use these trusts to provide for the needs of their loved one. Government benefits are rarely adequate to cover all of a person's needs for life, and this kind of special needs trust can be important in structuring assistance. An attorney may help families or people with special needs set up the type of trust that they need to protect their assets.