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Creating a Special Needs Trust Arizona – Step by Step Guide

Desk with pen and note about special needs trust Arizona

Are you ready to create a special needs trust Arizona but not sure where to start? This step-by-step guide will provide all the information needed to create a legally sound and fully compliant trust. We’ll walk you through everything from understanding the various usage guidelines to financial planning for a secure future.

Know Your State Laws.

Every special needs trust in Arizona must comply with the federal laws that govern them, as well as the specific state laws governing trust creation in Arizona. Prior to establishing a trust, it’s of utmost importance to become knowledgeable about these laws and guidelines. First, review Title 14 of the Arizona Revised Statutes to understand the general rules that apply to trusts in this state. It’s also important to consult a lawyer familiar with special needs law to ensure compliance with any relevant case law or opinion letters. Finally, always make sure that your trust is in line with the purpose that you intended. That purpose is usually to provide for financial security for those receiving public benefits or other additional assistance.

Choose a Trustee and a Beneficiary.

Once you’ve completed the research and consulted with an attorney, you’ll need to appoint a trustee and beneficiary of your trust. The trustee is the individual responsible for managing the trust assets and disbursing them according to the trust terms. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a professional. However, it could still be a good idea if you don’t want to assume that responsibility yourself.

The beneficiary is the individual for whom you are creating the trust. It could either be the individual with special needs or another designated recipient.

Create the Terms of Agreement.

After you have designated the trustee and beneficiary, it’s time to create the terms of the agreement. The trust document should specify how and when funds will be disbursed from the trust. It should also specify any other instructions that the trust must follow. Depending on your wishes, this could include instructions for caregiving services, special education needs, medical treatment, or other requirements for managing the trust assets.

Determine How Expenses Will Be Paid For.

When creating the terms of a special needs trust in Arizona, it’s important to consider how the trust assets will be used to cover the beneficiary’s expenses. The trust document must specify any limitations or requirements on how funds may be used, including items like medical care, disability-related services, leisure activities, and other necessary expenses. It is also important to consider if there are certain individuals or organizations that should not be used as a payment source.

Fund the Trust and Fulfill Its Purpose.

After the trust is established, the grantor (person who created the trust) or other parties must fund it. The grantor can transfer assets from another account with written instruction. Or he/she can purchase a new asset and hold it in the trust’s name. Depending on the type of special needs trust being created, funds may also need to come from family members, friends, government entities, charities, or private organizations. Once enough money has been accumulated within the trust for future income payments to cover its purpose, it is time to update and distribute copies of the special needs trust document.

Ready To Create a Special Needs Trust Arizona?

We can help you create a special needs trust Arizona. Give us a call at 602-443-4888. We’re here to help.


Founding attorney Paul Deloughery has been an attorney since 1998, became a Certified Family Wealth Advisor. He is also the founder of Sudden Wealth Protection Law.