SETTING UP A SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST

Like other Florida parents, if you have a child with a severe disability, you may have understandable concerns about how you can provide financially for your child after you die. Even if social services or disability funds are available, there can be a need for additional sources of income for a disabled person.

According to the Pacer Center, there is a specific type of trust that can be created just for this purpose. Referred to as a special needs trust, this important estate planning tool can actually provide income to a person before you die as well as after you die. If your special needs trust is crafted appropriately, your disabled child will still be eligible to receive other forms of assistance, such as Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid.

Some particular things you should know about special needs trusts are the following:

  • The trust itself, not your child, must be identified as the beneficiary.
  • Money from the trust is not able to be used to pay for everyday living costs.
  • Rehabilitation, education, transportation and home health aids can all be paid for via money from the trust.
  • Your disabled child cannot receive cash directly from the trust.

You can fund your special needs trusts in a variety of ways. Money from life insurance policies, retirement funds, real estate, savings accounts and inheritances can all be put into the trust.

To learn more about special needs trusts and how you can set one up when needed, you can visit our Florida estate planning website.

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Written by Luis E. Barreto

Luis E. Barreto

Luis is a probate and guardianship litigator with over 23 years of experience in the field. Determination of heirs, will contests, breaches of fiduciary duty, removal of personal representatives, guardians and trustees are just some of the types of litigation he addresses. In addition, he administers non-contested estates and guardianships.