When funds in a special needs trust are misused, the result may be that the intent of the entire trust is defeated, which can be disastrous for the beneficiary.
And "misuse" of trust funds need not be something nefarious. As Keenan notes, if a minor child receives a distribution that should have been the responsibility of the parents, then the trust has been misused. The government may take the position that the distribution was a "gift" to the parents rather than the child.
Tanner Pittman, LLC advises clients on estate planning issues, including special needs trusts.