The creation of a special needs trust can do a lot for the security of a child that depends on you and your peace of mind regarding their future. By creating and funding a trust, you ensure that someone you love with special needs will have access to the resources they need to cover their basic cost of living while still potentially receiving the government benefits, such as Medicaid, that they rely on.
Additionally, by creating a special needs trust, you ensure that another person who serves as trustee will help monitor the trust and protect your special needs family member when you can no longer do so. Choosing the right trustee can make a big difference regarding the usefulness and function of a special needs trust.
An ideal candidate is responsible and cares for the beneficiary
The person you name as trustee or as successor in your role as trustee could have a biological relationship to the beneficiary or just be part of your broader social network. However, it’s important that you select someone that you trust and believe to be competent to fulfill all the obligations that come with serving as trustee, such as making financial decisions, protecting the assets that fund the trust and enforcing the terms of the trust if necessary.
Beyond that, you want to feel strongly about your ability to trust this person and their intentions. Trustees could become financially abusive and manipulate special needs individuals for access to their resources. Naming multiple trustees or picking someone with a close relationship to you and the beneficiary can reduce the risk of financial abuse impacting the usefulness of the trust in the future.