Anyone in Massachusetts that cares for a family member with special needs lives with the concern of how that loved one will be cared for if something happens to him or her. Sometimes, it's enough just to get through the day, let alone consider the future, but it is something that needs to be considered. Setting up a special needs trust can alleviate at least some of the concern for that family member.
One of the most important decisions to be made prior to setting up such a trust is who will be appointed as the guardian of the person and the trustee of the trust. The same party does not have to fill both roles, but that may make things easier. It is essential that the person or people chosen to fulfill these roles are willing and able to do so.
The trust can be as detailed as necessary. Instructions may be included regarding the simplest or the most complex issues. For instance, if the special needs family member has particular preferences, those may be included in the trust. Then the trust will need to be funded; money or other assets may be added to the trust over time. It should also be reviewed periodically to make sure it is still current with the family's circumstances.
Since a special needs trust will be ensuring the future of someone who can't care for him or herself, it is crucial that it is properly drafted, executed and funded in accordance with Massachusetts law. Having someone that is familiar with the laws, rules and regulations surrounding these trusts take care of the paperwork can ensure that the trust will survive. Once these measures have been taken, it may give the family some peace of mind about the future, and they may go back to caring for their loved one.
Source: Forbes, Planning For The Future Of A Loved One With Special Needs, No author, Sept. 24, 2013