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special needs trust

Special Needs Trust

Provide Financial Security and Care with Special Needs Trusts

If you have a family member or loved one with a physical or mental disability, you want to ensure his or her needs are met. Special needs trusts can help.

What is a special needs trust?

Special needs trusts provide benefits for and protect the assets of individuals with physical or mental disabilities.

Sometimes are known as supplemental needs trusts, these planning vehicles exist for two main reasons:

  1. Special needs trusts give people with disabilities funds that aren’t counted as a financial asset when determining their eligibility for government benefits.
  2. Special needs trusts provide beneficiaries with funding for superior care and services, above and beyond government benefits.

A supplemental needs trust allows you to treat basic government benefits for your disabled family member as a safety net. The trust ensures people with disabilities have money to pay for medical care costs, special equipment and transportation, among other expenditures. Without special needs trusts, the high costs of care for a disabled individual could outpace  income.

We understand the work that goes into setting up special needs trusts can be emotional. Your Windward Wealth Strategies advisor has experience working with these family members. Using this knowledge, we can help you work toward financial security for your most vulnerable beneficiaries.

How to Fund Special Needs Trusts

There are rules about establishing special needs trusts, and your Windward Wealth Strategies advisor can help you determine whether you are on the right path. One of the first questions to answer is whether you will fund a special needs trust with the disabled individual’s own money (a first-party or self-settled trust) or with money from family members (a third-party trust).

Funding sources for special needs trusts include:

  • Financial gifts from family and friends
  • Proceeds from personal injury settlements
  • Proceeds from life insurance policies
  • Assets from an inheritance

By considering special needs trusts as part of your wealth management plan, your Windward advisor can help you discover the best way to fund a special needs trust. Determining a funding source may involve bringing in other members of your wealth team such as your attorney, accountant, insurance provider or other professional advisor. We will assemble a custom supplemental needs trust plan that’s best for you, your loved one and your finances.

Types of Special Needs Trusts

There are different types of special needs trusts. A Windward advisor will review your unique situation to help you select the best option. Types of special needs trusts include:

  • Support
  • Supplemental Care
  • Self-Settled Supplemental Care
  • Third-Party Supplemental Care

A Windward advisor can explain the ins and outs of each type of trust. When planning a supplement needs trust, recall the primary goal is covering the full cost of lifetime needs. Your wealth team will help you find the right balance of private and public resources for your family member.

Estate Planning and Special Needs Trusts

Planning special needs trusts often coincides with creating an estate plan. Count on your Windward Wealth advisor to provide you with rational guidance during what often becomes an emotional experience.

We take your goal — to provide financial security for vulnerable family members — and make it our own. Your financial planning experience with Windward will be customized and sensitive to your unique needs, and it will unfold at your own pace and level of understanding.

For a complimentary consultation with a Windward Wealth advisor about a Special Needs Trust, please call (920) 230-2215.

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