Secure the Future of Your Special Needs Child through a Special Needs Trust

As an Illinois estate planning attorney, I understand your unique challenges and concerns. Parents must address those challenges when planning for the future of a special needs child. Providing lifelong care and financial security for your child requires thoughtful and comprehensive estate planning. One essential tool that can make a significant difference in securing your child’s future is a special needs trust. This blog explores the benefits and importance of a special needs trust. It can ensure your child’s well-being and quality of life.

What is a Special Needs Trust?

A special needs trust, also known as a supplemental needs trust, is a legal instrument. The trust is specifically designed to benefit special needs individuals. The primary purpose of a special needs trust is to provide for the beneficiary’s supplemental needs and quality of life. The trust is designed not to jeopardize their eligibility for government benefits, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Understanding the Needs of a Special Needs Child:

Caring for a child with special needs is a deeply rewarding journey. However, that journey comes with a set of responsibilities that may extend beyond the child’s lifetime. As parents, you want to ensure that your child continues to receive the care and support they require. You also want that care and support even after you are no longer able to provide it yourself. A special needs trust can be instrumental in achieving this goal.

The Importance of a Special Needs Trust:

Creating a special needs trust is crucial for several reasons:

Preserving Government Benefits:

Government benefits are often essential in providing medical care, housing, and other vital services to special needs individuals. A well-structured special needs trust ensures that your child can continue to receive these benefits. The trust also allows your child to benefit the trust’s supplemental support.

Supplemental Care and Quality of Life:

A special needs trust allows you to enhance your child’s quality of life. The trust provides additional resources for services and amenities beyond what government benefits cover. This can include therapy, education, recreational activities, and other personalized care.

Protection from Financial Exploitation:

A special needs trust offers protection against financial exploitation. Funds are managed and distributed responsibly for the beneficiary’s benefit.

Professional Management:

By appointing a trustee, you ensure that the trust is administered professionally and in accordance with your wishes. This alleviates the burden on family members and provides expertise in handling financial matters.

Creating a Special Needs Trust:

Establishing a special needs trust requires careful planning and attention to detail. As an experienced Illinois estate planning attorney, I can guide you through the process, ensuring that all legal requirements are met. The key steps involved in creating a special needs trust include:

Identifying Beneficiaries:

Determine who will be the primary beneficiary of the special needs trust. This is typically your special needs child.

Choosing a Trustee:

Select a trustworthy and capable trustee. This trustee will manage the trust and make decisions in the best interest of the beneficiary.

Funding the Trust:

Decide on the assets that will fund the special needs trust. This can include life insurance policies, savings, investments, and other valuable assets.

Drafting the Trust Document:

The special needs trust document must be carefully drafted to comply with all legal requirements. The trust clearly outlines the trust’s purpose and provisions.

Ensuring Government Benefit Eligibility:

Careful consideration must be given to the language and terms of the trust. The trust must ensure that your child’s eligibility for government benefits is not compromised.

Review and Updates:

Regularly review the special needs trust with your attorney. You must keep your estate planning up-to-date and aligned with any changes in laws or your child’s circumstances.


As a parent, ensuring the future well-being and security of your special needs child is of utmost importance. A special needs trust can play a pivotal role in providing the care, support, and quality of life your child deserves. As an Illinois estate planning attorney, I am committed to assisting you. I want to help you create a comprehensive special needs trust that protects your child’s interests and secures their future. Together, we can pave the way for a brighter and more secure future for your special needs child.