Can I Change My Child’s Special Needs Trust?

can i change my child's special needs trustParents often create Special Needs Trusts with lifetime care needs in mind. The resources put into the Trust are meant to last years, and in a lot of cases decades.  While parents do their best to plan for situations that may occur in the future, there will likely come a time when provisions in the Special Needs Trust need to be updated or changed altogether.

The good news is that a Special Needs Trust is a flexible document and not something that’s “set in stone.” It’s meant to evolve and grow with your family.  We generally say that you should update your trust if your family experiences a significant life change or if you change your mind about any of the provisions in the Trust. Such changes may include:

  • You’re no longer happy with your choice of Successor Trustee;
  • Your Successor Trustee has passed away or is no longer capable of serving in such a role;
  • A parent was serving as Trustee but is now dealing with a health or personal challenge that makes continuing in the role difficult and it’s time to pass the torch to the next in line.
  • Mom or dad’s assets have changed—maybe following the purchase or sale of real estate, the liquidation of a business, the purchase of a life insurance policy, you start a new job and begin contributing to a retirement fund, etc.
  • Your wishes for your child set forth in the Trust have changed;
  • Your child’s financial situation changes… perhaps following the settlement of a personal injury or medical malpractice case.

If you feel that it’s time to change your child’s Special Needs Trust, it’s important to do so with the help of a Special Needs Attorney. It’s never a good idea to write on the document or to create “DIY” amendments to the Trust. Doing so can open an unintended can of worms for your child and may even result in expensive litigation.

If you need help, we’d be happy to assist you with updating or amending your child’s Special Needs Trust in a way that still provides maximum protection for your family, while addressing your changing goals or needs. To schedule a consultation simply call our office us to set up a meeting either a phone or video.

 

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