Question: We have a brother with special needs — a documented intellectual disability — who works full time and does not receive benefits. Our father just died and we have money coming, but he did not include our brother in his estate plan. Are we legally able to set up a trust from our inheritance for the benefit of our brother?
Answer: Because your father’s estate did not leave any money to your brother, you and your siblings will be able to establish a third-party special needs trust with some of your inheritance in order to take care of your brother, even though he doesn’t receive government benefits. If your brother had received an inheritance directly, a parent, grandparent, guardian or court would have to establish a first-party special needs trust to hold his money.