Five Things You Need To Know About Setting Up A Special Needs Trust

If you have a child, grandchild, or other loved one with special needs who is dependent on government programs such as SSI and Medicaid, you should explore the advantages of setting up a special needs trust if you intend on leaving money, property, or other assets to them in your will. Otherwise, inheriting money or property from you may end up jeopardizing that person's benefits. The trust needs to be set up in such a way that funds are not dispersed for basic living expenses, medication, and other healthcare costs that are already covered by Medicaid. Following are five ways that financial assets can be used by recipients of special needs trusts that won't put them in danger of losing their benefits. 

Pet Care

If your special needs loved one has a beloved pet or pets, monies can be allocated toward their care so that the recipient won't have to pay for it out of his or her benefits allowance. Funds can even be used to cover basic expenses of pet ownership such as food, grooming, and and pet sitting or boarding. 


Funds can also be allocated for vacations so that the recipient has the opportunity to enjoy leisure travel. This not only pertains to airline tickets and hotel room costs but to clothing and other items that will be used on the trip.

Internet, Phone, and Cable Television Services

Because these aren't considered essential services, monies from a special needs trust can be used to pay for them without jeopardizing the person's benefits. This money can also be used to purchase items such as cell phones, television sets, and computers. 

Medical Services Not Covered By Medicaid

Not all medical services are covered by Medicaid. Special needs trusts can be used to pay for alternative therapies, massage, personal caregivers, and anything else that isn't covered by the person's individual Medicaid plan. It can also be used to pay for nutritional supplements and exercise equipment. 

Housecleaning, Yard Work, and Other Personal Services 

Recipients can also have housecleaning and yard work paid for via funds from special need trusts. It can also cover costs of public transportation, taxis, or services such as Uber as well as salon and spa visits. 

Reach out to a special needs trust attorney from a firm like the Law Offices of MARKHOFF if you would like more information on how this type of trust can benefit your special needs loved one.