If you are the parent of a child in Florida who has a disability or some form of special needs, you may be wondering how you can financially provide for your child after you die. Taking into consideration the needs of your child for the rest of his or her life should be done when making any of your own estate planning and retirement plans. This may or may not include the appointment of a guardian depending upon your child’s circumstances.

The Fiscal Times recommends that you create a special form of trust rather than simply leave cash or valuable assets directly to your child. Doing this will preserve your child’s eligibility for Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income. When selecting a trust, there are different options from which to choose. The amount of money needed in a trust will be based upon projections for housing, medical care and other daily living expenses.

One type of trust is called a first-party trust. In this trust, you would actually fund it with assets that belonged to the beneficiary. Anything left over after the beneficiary dies would go to the government. You could gift money or assets to your child and then put them into the trust. Perhaps the more common way to go is to create a third-party trust. Your assets would fund the trust at a future date and it would have no current value.

To learn more about how to approach estate planning when you have unique situations, please visit the special needs page of our wealth preservation website.

Luis E. Barreto