Sample Letter to Friends and Relatives About a Special Needs Trust

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Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I hope this message finds you well. We wanted to share an important update regarding our comprehensive Life Planning program for our beloved [Child’s Name]. Over the past few months, we’ve diligently worked on estate and financial planning to secure [Child’s Name]’s future, especially in the event something should happen to us.

Our primary reason for reaching out is to inform you about a special needs trust we’ve established for [Child’s Name]. This trust is designed to safeguard various assets and funds, ensuring they are available for [Child’s Name]’s “supplemental needs.” It’s essential to understand that to maintain [Child’s Name]’s eligibility for crucial government programs at the local, state, and federal levels, he must not receive funds directly in his name. Instead, any contributions, whether from us or anyone else, should be directed to the special trust we’ve named the “[Special Needs Trust Name], Dated [Date].”

Receiving funds exceeding $2,000 directly could jeopardize [Child’s Name]’s eligibility for these vital government-provided special needs programs. We’re not asking you or anyone else to contribute to [Child’s Name]’s trust. Our commitment is to provide for his future needs ourselves. However, in the event you wish to make a contribution, we wanted to ensure you understand the best way to do so without unintentionally affecting [Child’s Name]’s eligibility for essential government programs that we anticipate he will rely on throughout his life.

In essence, the process is straightforward. Please ensure that any funds are directed exclusively to the trust, known as the “[Special Needs Trust Name], Dated [Date].”

Your understanding and support mean a lot to us, and we’re grateful to have you in [Child’s Name]’s life.

Warm regards,

[Your Name]


Caveats and Disclaimers

The information provided here is not intended to be exhaustive on the subject of special needs planning. Entire books have been written on this subject, so the objective here is more limited in scope. It is our intention to provide sufficient information so that parents have a general understanding of the main issues involved. Then know what steps need to be taken to achieve their goals for their child by creating a Comprehensive Life Plan. Where legal terms and devices are discussed such as special needs trusts, wills, guardianship, etc., it should be understood that this is not intended as specific legal advice, and accordingly, each family is always advised to obtain appropriate legal counsel when implementing these elements of a Comprehensive Life Plan for their child with special needs.