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For a couple of years, I was one of three trustees on a special needs trust that an elderly friend set up for her grandson. We had an eldercare attorney advising us every step of the way and I have to assume that the young man's brother, who is trustee now, also has a lawyer to do this.
Agree with you...do not attempt a SNT without the advice of a lawyer!
What are your goals you want to achieve? Get that info ready for the lawyer.
The lawyer can advise you if there are other vehicles (trusts) that would better serve you or your loved one's needs. Such as a Miller trust, etc.
These are all designed with the financial planning as a whole in mind.
I have reviewed SNT's for my dH, and maybe one is needed, but we don't have a huge amount to open one, $250,000 in assets, they say. And second, since we need to use all of our money I found the restrictions for us prohibitive.
This is not to discourage you at all from seeking a SNT, but no one cares more about your own funds than oneself.
Impressing on me is the number of trusts set up that have never been funded.
Don't know why that is....