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Estate planning: How a special needs trust can help

Nov 8, 2018 | Special Needs Trusts

Parents of special needs children already understand the extra care and dedication that goes into the job. Many worry about what will happen to their adult children after they are gone. While Florida parents might expect their other children or family members to take over caregiving duties, it is important to establish these matters through careful estate planning. This includes setting up a special needs trust to protect a person’s finances.

A special needs trust is one of the most effective ways to ensure that a disabled child continues receiving vital government aid and benefits. Many government programs — including Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, job training programs, subsidized housing and more — are only available to individuals with low incomes. If a parent leaves behind a significant inheritance, that heir could be kicked off of these programs and faced with two options — go without essential services or quickly drain the inheritance to pay for them, and return to government assistance. Instead, leaving money via a trust is a better idea.

But what about those who do not qualify for benefits anyway? Even if a family is able to continue providing necessary medical care and services without government aid, a trust is still useful for maintaining that baseline level of regular and ongoing financial support. For adults with disabilities, a steady income is important.

Simply asking a sibling or loved one to watch out for a special needs child is not enough. Florida parents can use estate planning to make sure that their child is still cared for no matter what happens in the future. This includes establishing a special needs trust.