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A Special Needs Trust allows an individual with disabilities to protect their assets or inheritance that may receive,  while at the same time maintaining government benefits such as SSI or Medicaid.  A Special Needs Trust (SNT)  supplements government benefits, and enhances person with disabilities quality of life.

A few reasons why a Special Need Trust (SNT) is recommended:

  • Planning for a loved one who is disabled

  • Receipt of an inheritance while disabled

  • Receipt of a personal injury settlement, or malpractice settlement.

It is critical that families with special needs children plan in advance through their estate plan to ensure their special needs child or loved one will be taken care of at their death and that such funds remain in the family. 

Planning for loved ones with special needs can be a challenge. In fact, in the State of Illinois, more than $2000 in assets will disqualify a disabled person from receiving government benefits. Therefore, having a plan in place with people you can trust knowing any inheritance or settlement is safe in a Special Need Trust provides peace of mind and long term care for your loved ones.


In the event a person does not have the capacity to make competent decisions about their finances, healthcare, or daily living, he or she may be declared legally disabled by the court. A guardian would be appointed to make decisions for the disabled individual. Being declared disabled can only be done through a court process, and the process requires a knowledgeable attorney who understands the legal system.

Often adult guardianships are required over one’s personal and estate when the individual has failed to plan ahead through the preparation of powers of attorney for finance and healthcare.

When a child receives an inheritance or other source of funds prior to 18 years of age, a guardianship must be established in order to protect the funds until the child turns 18.

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