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COVID-19 Update: We are working and here to help. The probate courts are open and we are continuing to file cases. Please email Attorney Nicole Morris at [email protected] if you have questions. Stay safe, we will get through this stronger together.

Steps in planning a special needs trust

On Behalf of | Jan 28, 2022 | Trusts

Special needs trusts in Florida give you a way to pay for the care of a child you have with disabilities. Whether you’re alive or you have passed away, these trusts operate on the orders you set. In many cases, Florida families choose special needs trusts in order to protect their children’s eligibility for public aid. Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid are based on income and assets. Without a trust, your child’s wealth could disqualify them from public assistance.

How you’ll fund it

Special needs trusts can be opened with one lump sum or given routine deposits over the span of years. Whichever method you choose, the trust needs to be funded. When those funds are later withdrawn, they are specifically designated for use in special needs care. Though trusts can shelter your money for tax and eligibility purposes, they can also be used to fund specific goals. You can legally own a special needs trust by assigning it a beneficiary with disabilities.

Being choosy with your trustee

Every trust has a trustee, and you will need one for your special needs trust. A trustee is the administrator or manager of your trust and the financial assets it holds. This person can be a family member or a trained professional. The trustee of your account is who grants or denies money to your heir when they request it after you die. This person can be given the power to choose, based on your guidance, exactly how your child uses the funds of their trust.

Special needs trusts in Florida

Federal benefits are something that Florida residents have to keep in mind when building an estate around a child with special needs. No matter their disability, there’s a cap on how much they can own to retain public assistance.

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