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Parents of children with special needs face unique challenges when planning for the future, since their death could leave the children 100% reliant on government benefits. This becomes about not only lifetime care, but quality of life. Creation of a special needs trust (aka supplemental needs trust) allows a trustee to pay for things not covered by Social Security (which covers essentials like food, clothing, shelter, and medication); like education, recreation, counseling, medical attention beyond life's simple necessities, or even spending money, vacations, movies, electronics, and other quality of life enhancing expenses. It allows the disabled beneficiary to receive gifts, lawsuit settlements, or other funds and not lose his/her eligibility for some government programs. Creation of special needs trusts requires special assistance. Some financial advisors offer special expertise in this area. It's also important to involve an attorney who is knowledgeable in state-specific laws, and in The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 that established the rules for special needs trusts.