Nothing lasts forever. Your smiling baby becomes a child who becomes an adult. You change too. You won’t always be there for your child with special needs. You may already have a Special Needs Trust, but it’s important to continue to review your trust to ensure that it still meets the needs of your family.
All the reasons why you’d update your Special Needs Trust (SNT) boil down to one thing: change. A trust is a snapshot of your finances and wealth at a particular moment in time, but things may not always stay the same. The following are reasons why you would change your Special Needs Trust and the reasons for doing so:
Your finances change. Down markets, unexpected expenses, and property loss can limit the amount of resources that will comprise your child’s Special Needs Trust. Yet, promotions, property values surging, and other windfalls can mean not just more valuable properties to put in the SNT, but new ones to consider allocating for your child’s care.
Your child’s needs change. Aside from your child becoming ill or harmed, needs can change in other ways. For example, your child may have started a new type of therapy that’s proving very beneficial, and you want to make sure that there are funds to cover that therapy in the future.
Your health changes. While you’d like to be there for your child for eternity, that’s not possible, and even the healthiest of adults may fall ill, sometimes without warning. If your health has recently taken a turn, it’s wise to contact an attorney to discuss these changes and how they may affect your plan.
Families change. If you created your Special Needs Trust a while ago and haven’t updated it, there may have been changes in the family since then, such as births, deaths, and marriages. You may want to change your asset allocations to accommodate these changes, and not just for the SNT, but all your estate planning.
Opportunities may come or go. In some states and regions of the country, it’s more difficult to get into a good assisted living facility or group home. However, sometimes spots open up and a child can move up on the waiting list. Medicaid may not pay for all the costs. It’s prudent to make sure that the Special Needs Trust will cover any new or additional costs for taking opportunities like this that may have occurred after the original SNT was created.
If anything has changed since you last reviewed your child’s Special Needs Trust contact me to update it and ensure your child is cared for. Simply call my office at 916.801.4132 and mention this article to schedule a consultation.