Sample Letter to Friends and Relatives About a Special Needs Trust

Dear __________________,

This is intended to let you know that we have just completed a Life Planning program for __________________’s future caregiving. This has taken us many months to complete and entails some rather extensive estate and financial planning for __________________’s future needs if something happens to us.

Our main purpose in notifying you about our personal plans is to make you aware of the existence of a special needs trust that is designed to hold various assets and funds for __________________’s “supplemental needs.” In order for __________________ to qualify or to maintain his current qualification for various government programs (local, state, and federal), it is imperative that he not receive any monies or funds directly in his own name. Instead, anything that we or anyone else leaves him must go to the special trust noted above. If he were to receive funds in excess of $2,000, his eligibility for most government-provided special needs programs would be jeopardized.

We are not asking you or anyone else to leave funds for __________________. Our intention is to take care of his future needs ourselves. However, in the event you do want to leave something, we wanted to make you aware of the best way of doing so without jeopardizing his eligibility for certain government programs that we anticipate he will need for the rest of his life. Quite simply, all you need to do is make sure that any funds are directed only to the trust, which is referred to as the: “__________________ Special Needs Trust, Dated __________________.”



Caveats and Disclaimers

The information provided here is not intended to be exhaustive on the subject of special needs planning. Entire books have been written on this subject, so the objective here is more limited in scope. It is our intention to provide sufficient information so that parents have a general understanding of the main issues involved and then know what steps need to be taken to achieve their goals for their child by creating a Comprehensive Life Plan. Where legal terms and devices are discussed such as special needs trusts, wills, guardianship, etc., it should be understood that this is not intended as specific legal advice, and accordingly, each family is always advised to obtain appropriate legal counsel when implementing these elements of a Comprehensive Life Plan for their child with special needs.

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