Thank you for your question and sharing it with the member community. While there is no short answer, there are several things I would encourage you to look into in order to plan for the future:
Trust Documentation – Legal documents are very important to making sure that you daughter has everything that she needs for support as well as a means of making sure that she will be able to access any public benefits that may have personal asset thresholds or limitations.
Speak with your legal professional about what requirements your situation may have in order to structure a Special Needs Trust appropriately. It is important to consider who you want to have as your daughter’s representation within the trust; individual people are the ones we general consider to be in this role, like a sibling or trusted friend, however they face the same risks that all people and it’s not guaranteed that they are there to serve as a trustee when your daughter may need them. Because of this, it may make sense to having a corporate trustee. There may be a fee for the services they provide but usually only when their services are activated.
Consider Life Insurance in order to provide assets for your daughter if you were to pass away. Life insurance in this case should be paid into the special needs trust you’ve established; selecting the type and amount of coverage is based on your individual situation and what other assets that you plan to allocate to the trust. In most cases that I have worked with members in similar situations, Survivor life insurance has been used. This is a type of coverage that will provide a death benefit when both people insured by the policy have passed away and it is designed to be more of an estate planning tool.
This can be a big financial decision, so it is important that you be a good consumer, and find the best plan for your situation.
USAA can provide support with both Trust Services as well as Survivor Life Insurance. I encourage you to contact our Wealth Management group and speak with one of our Financial Planners to review what your situation calls for. Call 1-877-633-3312 or complete the online form on the USAA Wealth Managementpage to schedule an appointment.
Sean Scaturro, MBA, CFP®
Director of Life and Health Insurance Advice