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What is a Special Needs Trust?

Posted by Brad Sarkauskas | Feb 03, 2023 | 0 Comments

A special needs trust is an estate planning tool that is specifically designed to provide financial support to individuals with special needs. It is an important component of a comprehensive estate plan for families who have a loved one with a disability, allowing them to provide for their long-term care without disrupting their eligibility for government benefits.

Benefits of a Special Needs Trust

A special needs trust offers a number of benefits for individuals with disabilities and their families. Some of the most notable benefits include:

  • Protection of government benefits: Government benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are based on financial need. If an individual with special needs receives an inheritance or a gift, it can impact their eligibility for these benefits. A special needs trust allows assets to be set aside for the individual's benefit without affecting their eligibility for government programs.
  • Professional management of funds: A special needs trust is typically managed by a professional trustee, who is responsible for overseeing the distribution of funds in accordance with the terms of the trust. This helps ensure that the funds are being used in a responsible and appropriate manner.
  • Flexibility in spending: A special needs trust can be designed to provide for a wide range of expenses, including medical expenses, education, recreation, and more. This provides families with the flexibility to meet the changing needs of their loved one over time.

Setting up a Special Needs Trust

Setting up a special needs trust requires the assistance of a qualified estate planning attorney. The attorney will work with the family to determine the best type of trust for their situation, taking into account their specific needs and goals.

Once the trust is established, the family must identify a suitable trustee to manage the funds. This person can be a family member, a friend, or a professional trustee. The trustee must be someone who is trustworthy, responsible, and experienced in managing funds for individuals with special needs.

Estate Planning with Heritage Law Office

At Heritage Law Office, we understand the importance of comprehensive estate planning for families who have a loved one with special needs. Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to helping families plan for the future, providing the guidance and support needed to ensure that their loved one is protected and cared for.

In addition to special needs trusts, we also offer a range of other estate planning services, including wills, other types of trusts, powers of attorney, and living wills. Our goal is to help families create a complete and effective estate plan that takes into account their unique needs and goals.

If you are interested in learning more about our special needs trust and estate planning services, please do not hesitate to contact us. You can reach us by calling 414-253-8500 or by sending us a message. Let us help you protect your loved one's future and ensure that they receive the care and support they need.


A special needs trust is an important estate planning tool for families who have a loved one with a disability. It offers a number of benefits, including the protection of government benefits, professional management of funds, and flexibility in spending. To ensure that a special needs trust is set up effectively, it is important to work with a qualified estate planning attorney and to identify a suitable trustee.

Bradley J. Sarkauskas, Attorney-at-Law

About the Author

Brad Sarkauskas

As the founding member of the Heritage Law Office of Wisconsin, LLC, attorney Brad Sarkauskas is equipped with the tools--through his extensive background in finance--to effectively represent his clients legal economic interests. With over 20 years of experience in finance, insurance, and taxati...


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