By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. a New Jersey Special Needs Trust Attorney

A number of issues often arise when the question of how much to fund a Special Needs Trust. First, how much will your child require over his or her life? Second, should you leave the same percentage of your estate to all of your children, no matter what their financial need? Third, can you assure that there’s enough money for the future? The first question is a tough one. It depends on your child’s needs and the availability of other resources to fulfill those needs. A financial planner or life care planner can help make financial projections to assist you. But in all cases it’s better to have more money reserved rather than less. You can’t be certain current public benefit programs will continue.   You also have to factor in paying for services that you provide free-of-charge today. It may mean that your child with special needs will require a large percentage of your estate, but then how will your other children feel if they receive less than their share?  And your other children may have received less of your attention growing up than they would have otherwise had they not had a child with special needs. One solution to the question of fairness and to the challenge of assuring that there are enough funds is life insurance. You can divide your estate equally among your children, but supplement the amount going to the special needs trust for your child with special needs with life insurance. The younger you are when you start, the more affordable the premiums will be. And if you are married, the premiums can often be lower if you purchase a policy that pays out only when the second parent dies.

Contact me personally today to discuss your New Jersey Special Needs Trust matter.  I am easy to talk to, very approachable and can offer you practical, legal ways to handle your concerns.  You can reach me toll free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail me at