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Setting up a special needs trust in Texas

When putting together estate plans, if a loved one in your life is living with a disability -- and is mentally unable to manage his or her own finances -- you may want to consider working with an attorney to create a special needs trust. This is an estate planning tool that ensures resources are given to a loved one, without having to worry about that person losing any government assistance. 

In the most basic of terms, according to a FindLaw article, a special needs trust allows you to name a trustee and a beneficiary. The beneficiary will be the person receiving the assets, while the trustee is the person who will be in charge of managing the assets. This trustee should be someone who you know could handle this responsibility. If no one is named, the court will appoint a third party.

With a special needs trust, the idea is to set up the trust to best meet the needs and lifestyle of the beneficiary. When setting this trust up, keep in mind you are thinking about their continued needs both now and into the future. So while maybe the beneficiary is not now receiving any government assistance, he or she may in the future. Again, this is why a special needs trust is preferable to a will, as a large lump sum of money through a will could disqualify a person from receiving government assistance. 

Setting up a special needs trust is not something to be taken lightly. While possible to set up one by yourself, it is recommended those putting together estate plans work with an attorney to make sure the required language is properly included. Having an attorney involved with the process can provide peace of mind, ensuring everything is drafted correctly. 

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