When considering how much money you will need to fund a special needs trust, you may wish to consider items that will offer your child a better quality of life. Government benefits are designed to provide basic food and shelter, but they will not offer your child any of the extras he is used to. When determining how much money you will need to provide for these extras, you should consider the following:
- Are there any social activities that are important to your child that you would want continued after your death? You may, for instance, wish to provide funds for your child to take annual vacations to see relatives or to attend sporting events.
- Does your child like to go out to dinner with friends or to the movies?
- Are there any specialty items, such as computers, DVDs, or video games that improve your child’s quality of life?
After you have considered all of the things you want your child to continue to enjoy, you need to determine how much this is going to cost. To calculate how much is needed in order to properly fund the trust, you may want to keep track of everything you spend on your child over the course of one month. After you have calculated these expenses, you may wish to add periodic expenses that might come up quarterly or annually. These quality of life considerations could make the difference between providing your child with a basic existence and a lifestyle closer to that which you would have sought to provide yourself.
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