Options for a special needs beneficiary

Options for a special needs beneficiary

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2020 | Estate Planning & Probate |

There are so many considerations to understand when planning beneficiaries for a loved one with special needs in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The same estate planning and trust planning needs to occur to ensure that this individual receives the most appropriate outcomes. You may have to do this planning to receive government benefits for your loved ones or maintain status. There are many options available such as trusts and other options for your loved one.


Trusts are the most common option for beneficiaries of a loved one with special needs. Two primary options exist for trusts: First Party SNTs and Third-Party SNTs.

The First Party trust uses beneficiary assets to assist government benefits. The individual will still receive benefits while also receiving the assets required, as long as he or she is 65 years old or less.

A third party trust uses assets from a third party who deposits the trust’s assets after the beneficiary passes. Benefits will not be affected under this trust either, but there is less control.

Other Options

There are alternatives to trusts for estate planning as well. These include:

  • Outright distribution of assets
  • Divesture planning, which impacts government benefits
  • Disinheritance for the individual, giving assets to a third party

These are all dependent on your specific circumstances. No two cases are the same when considering a special needs beneficiary.

Final Thoughts

There are many additional factors to consider with a special needs beneficiary. You can better understand the process and the best outcome for your loved one by contacting a lawyer who practices estate and trust planning. Determine the right choice of action for your special needs beneficiary so that he or she receives the assets they need.