Providing for your Disabled Child, Spouse, Parent of Other Beneficiary

Do you have special needs child? A special needs adult? A disabled spouse?

You want nothing more than to provide for your disabled family member, but are worried that if you leave an inheritance to your loved one, they would lose their Medicaid or other government benefits that have an asset limitation.

The answer may be to create a Florida Special Needs Trust, also referred to as a Supplemental needs Trust. Remaining eligible for public benefits is the basis of the Special Needs Trust. It is a key element of any estate plan for a family that includes a person with a disability. This type of trust may also be set up for a disabled child or adult to pay for the expenses that insurance or Medicaid does not cover.

A Financial Plan for your Special Needs Loved One

A Special Needs Trust allows you to leave funds to a person on public benefits without disqualifying them from those benefits. It is a tool that legally shields assets needed in the future to care for a loved one who cannot care for themselves.

A Florida Special Needs Trust is a form of Irrevocable Trust. It will provide for supplemental care and life-enhancing services and equipment, beyond that which the government provides.

Because the assets named in a Special Needs Trust are not considered countable assets, the Trust does not hinder the disabled person’s eligibility and qualification for certain government “needs-based” benefits such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), vocational rehabilitation, or subsidized housing.

The parties involved in this type of Trust are:

  • The Grantor or Settlor – the person establishing the Trust
  • The Trustee – the person or entity named to manage the Trust
  • The Beneficiary – the person receiving the benefits

Two other very important features that make a Special Needs Trust different:

  • The funds held in Trust are not subject to seizure by creditors
  • Money transfers into the Trust are exempt from the Medicaid 5-year “look back” period

Special Needs Trusts Must Comply with Medicaid and SSI Rules

Be confident that the attorney you choose is knowledgeable about Florida Special Needs Trusts. Not every estate planning attorney is familiar with this area of law. The Law Firm of Kathleen Flammia specializes in special needs issues, public and government benefits programs, and the proper creation of these unique and critical trusts.

I’m sure you have questions, and I am happy to answer them in depth. Contact my law firm for help with establishing a Trust for your loved one with a special need. My full service practice in this area of law includes

  • specifically counseling you regarding your unique needs
  • assessment of public benefits currently received
  • assessment of assets to be transferred into the Trust
  • outlining the steps necessary to create the Trust, drafting the proper documents, and help with the transfer of assets into the Trust

I understand the sensitive nature of special needs planning. In addition to drafting Florida Special Needs Trusts, I work closely with parents and caregivers to develop a well-thought-out plan for people that will require lifetime care.