Call Us630-665-2500

128D S. County Farm Road, Wheaton, IL 60187

Using a Special Needs Trust to Provide for a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder

 Posted on March 15, 2023 in Estate Planning

DuPage County Estate Planning LawyerAbout one out of every 44 children in the United States has autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The condition varies significantly from individual to individual. However, some of the most common symptoms of autism include difficulty with social interactions, communication, and behavior. Just over 30 percent of people with ASD have an intellectual disability.

If your child has ASD and requires extra help, you know that this can be quite expensive. It is important for parents of children with autism to plan for their children's long-term financial security. A special needs trust is one way to do just this.

How Does a Special Needs Trust Work?

If your child is nonverbal or struggles to complete everyday tasks, he or she may need significant care and assistance. What happens when you are no longer around to provide this assistance or provide financial support to your child?

A special needs trust is a type of trust that is specifically designed to provide financial support for individuals with disabilities. The trust’s funds can be used to cover everyday expenses like rent and groceries as well as additional expenses like medical bills, assistive devices, or therapies.

You set up a trustee who is responsible for managing the trust and distributing the funds contained in the trust. You may choose another one of your children to act as the trustee or entrust this important responsibility to a trusted family friend or professional.

Why Use a Special Needs Trust Instead of Providing Funds Through a Will

When a well-meaning parent leaves significant assets to an adult child through a will, there can be unexpected financial consequences. The money may be used inappropriately or spent too quickly. Another major issue for disabled individuals is the income and asset threshold associated with government assistance programs. If you leave your child a significant inheritance, this may disqualify him or her from receiving benefits.

Funds in a special needs trust are technically owned by the trust, not the disabled person. This allows your child to maintain eligibility for government benefits – like Medicaid and SSI – that are essential in providing care and assistance for those with ASD.

Contact our DuPage County Estate Planning Lawyer

If your child has autism and you want to ensure he or she has access to funds after you pass away, a special needs trust may be right for you. A special needs trust allows a disabled person to have access to funds without reducing the person’s eligibility for government assistance programs. Our Wheaton estate planning lawyers can help you set up a special needs trust that meets your family’s particular needs. Call 630-665-2500 for a confidential consultation.



Share this post:
Back to Top