Special Needs Trusts

If you’re taking care of a disabled loved one, you probably have concerns about the future. Who will resume your caregiver responsibilities after your die? How will your loved one cover basic needs and other expenses without a job? Even with disability benefits, it can be difficult to keep up with costs, especially when it comes to health care.

A special needs trust might be the solution in this case. This type of trust allows a person to access essential funds without risking their benefit eligibility. A special needs trust also offers you peace of mind knowing that your loved one will continue to receive a high level of care after you’re gone. Here at Walk-In Wills, we help New Mexico families set up trusts for their loved ones, as well as provide other estate planning options.

Trusts Help Maintain Disability Benefits

When a person is deemed disabled and incapable of holding employment, he or she will be eligible for disability benefits. Along with the person’s medical condition or underlying cause of disability, how much money the person has is also considered when applying for benefits. Things like a home, car, or other personal belongings don’t factor in.

However, how much money a person has in the bank will have an impact. That means a disabled person who is left a large sum of money will likely lose their benefits upon receiving the inheritance. A disabled person may also lack the capacity to handle finances property.

A special needs trusts addresses both concerns. Because funds within the trust are not owned by the beneficiary, there is no risk of losing disability benefits. Trusts are also overseen by a trustee, who will be responsible for using funds on behalf of the beneficiary. These funds can be used on in-home care, food, items for the home, physical therapy, medical treatments, and many other items and services.

Types of Special Needs Trusts

There are two types of special needs trusts, each of which functions differently:

  • First Party Trusts – Some people become disabled later in life. These people will likely have a number of assets and property at this point, which affects disability benefit eligibility. A first party trust is useful in this case, and it can also be useful if a disabled person inherits a sum of money during his or her lifetime.


  • Third Party Trusts – For caregivers of people with disabilities, third party trusts can help plan for future needs. Along with the primary caregiver, other people can make contributions to a third-party trust, such as other relatives or even charitable organizations. This type of special needs trust often goes into effect when the caregiver dies.

Create a Bright Future for Your Loved One

Estate planning can be complex, and you want to rest assured that you’ve made the right decisions to protect your family in the future. Our attorneys at Walk-In Wills are happy to help, which is why we offer a free one-hour consultation so we can discuss your needs. Learn more by calling (505) 903-7000 today.

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