A special needs trust provides for the care of a beneficiary that is unable to care for themselves. It is often set up to provide for disabled people. It can also be set up to anticipate the needs of an elderly parent.
In some cases, a special needs trust could be utilized to include treatment of substance abuse or gambling problems in such a way that the assets would never become available for other uses. Usually, it will only provide for beneficiaries to the extent of their perceived needs over and above what government assistance provides.
Most of the time, a special needs trust is set up with the intention to not disqualify a person from government assistance. In many cases, the addicted person would suffer from an addiction so badly that they had become unable to be productive in society.
The bottom line is that a special needs trust is intended mostly for beneficiaries with medical or psychological disabilities, and is intended to keep someone on the government roles, not replace public funding.
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