What is a South Dakota "Special Needs Trust"?

In South Dakota, a special needs trust may be an important part of planning for a disabled child (even though the child may be an adult by the time the trust is created or funded). A special needs trust allows a disabled child to receive inheritances, gifts, lawsuit settlements, or other funds and not lose his eligibility for certain government programs, like Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These trusts are drafted so that the funds will not be considered to belong to the beneficiary in determining his eligibility for public benefits.