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What can a special needs trust cover?

On Behalf of | Mar 12, 2024 | Estate Planning

If you have a loved one with special medical needs, then you might be worried about how they’re going to get by when you’re gone. Fortunately, you can use a special needs trust to support them without negatively impacting their ability to qualify for government assistance from programs like Medicaid. That might sound good to you, but you might be wondering whether there are any restrictions on what a special needs trust can cover.

What can a special needs trust pay for?

There’s a lot that a special needs trust can pay for without effecting your loved one’s eligibility for government programs. This includes:

  • Medical equipment.
  • A vehicle.
  • Medical expenses that aren’t covered by insurance or Medicaid.
  • Rehabilitative services.
  • Furniture.
  • Recreational activities.
  • Entertainment.
  • Electronics, including a computer.
  • Transportation.
  • Travel.

While there are several things that a special needs trust can cover, there are some limitations. For example, a special needs trust can’t pay for:

  • Housing in the form of a mortgage or rent.
  • Grocery bills.
  • Utility bills.
  • Property taxes.

Your loved one will also be prevented from converting special needs trust assets into cash to use for whatever they want, and they won’t be able to purchase gift cards. But these restrictions, while limiting, pale in comparison to the trust’s benefits.

Do what you can to protect your loved one’s interests

While a special needs trust can be an integral part of your estate plan, it’s not the only option for supporting your loved one. To ensure that you’re getting the most out of your estate plan and protecting your loved one as much as possible, then, you need to inform yourself and fully engage in the estate planning process. That way you can utilize the tools necessary to create the holistic and effective estate plan that you want.