Approximately 43 million Americans have one or more physical or intellectual disabilities, and 400,000 families in the United States have a child with Down syndrome. For those of us with a child with special needs, we spend extra time considering and planning for the financial stability of our loved ones’ futures.


Although we want to save money for our child’s future to accommodate his or her special needs, if an individual with a disability has more than $2,000 to his name, he will become ineligible for SSI or Medicaid. It is important that your estate plan and financial plan for your child accommodate this so that your child remains able to receive government benefits. A distribution to your child as a gift, or through a family member’s will, can preclude his eligibility. 


One permissible way to overcome the requirement that your child with a disability own less than $2,000 of cash and property (excepting allowable assets) is to establish a Special Needs Trust for your child. Such a trust allows a trustee (typically a parent) to monitor and take care of funds placed in this type of discretionary, supplemental trust. It allows money provided by family members to supplement the governmental benefits such as Medicaid and SSI by paying for services or items that Medicaid would not cover. With a trustee managing the trust and overseeing your child’s financial needs, you can be assured that your child will be taken care of financially, even after your lifetime.


By setting up a Special Needs Trust for your child while they are young, you can effectively use the time you have while your child is young to set the foundation for a secure financial future for your child. 

To engage this firm's services to set up a special needs trust for your child, fill out the questionnaire below and return via email to


Meredith Hilton

Attorney at Law, LLC
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Special Needs Trust for Adults and Children with Disabilities

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