For a beneficiary receiving disability income, an inheritance could pose a large problem. Assistance from the government is determined by the value of assets owned by the person receiving benefits and any income earned.
If that person receives assets as an inheritance, disability benefits could be reduced.
A special needs trust can withhold distributions to the person receiving disability, therefore not affecting disability income.
If the beneficiary needs money, the successor trustee can arrange for payments to have minimal disruption of benefits.
Certain services or goods which cannot be resold for money can be paid for by the special needs trust, such as movie tickets, which increase the quality of life for the beneficiary without increasing the beneficiary's asset or income.
The special needs trust can hold assets for the entire lifetime of the beneficiary, after which the inheritance may be distributed to the deceased beneficiary's heirs or to other beneficiaries as instructed by the special needs trust.