MISTAKE 5: A “Generic” Special Needs Trust

Some Special Needs Trusts are unnecessarily inflexible and generic and not customized to the needs to the person with the disability. While the trust may protect government benefits, the boilerplate provisions may fail to address the unique needs of the beneficiary, and fail to address the continuation of the type of care, training and opportunities that the parent provided when they were alive. Generic trusts Special Needs Trusts are also too often made “irrevocable” upon signing. While this is appropriate in some cases, the choice is often not adequately discussed. If offered the option, most parents prefer to retain their right to improve and fine tune the trust as years pass, and flexibility to withdraw assets if needed. This may not be possible with an irrevocable trust. Over time, a revocable trust can be modified to address the beneficiary’s evolving needs, and any changes in the law. Your attorney should be able to knowingly discuss with you whether a revocable or irrevocable trust is best for you.