A special needs trust is like a regular trust except that it has a special purpose: to provide support to the beneficiary without disqualifying them from governmental or other forms of assistance. For example: a child badly injured in a car accident that needs care for the rest of their life, or a disabled adult.  If they receive governmental benefits, such as Medicaid, those benefits may be reduced or eliminated if the individual receives money or other assets from a trust. The special needs trust is carefully structured to provide benefits for things not covered by the government programs without disqualifying the person from those programs. A special needs trust can be created by a parent by will, or from funds recovered from a personal injury settlement for example. Under specific circumstances, the funds can come from the beneficiary themselves. This is an important but technically difficult area of the law, and advice from an experienced attorney is essential.