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Sadly, there are not as many state and federal resources available for parents of children with special needs. Parents must fight to obtain the necessary benefits to care for their children. Unfortunately, their children could lose those benefits if they inherit money from a parent or another party.

Our Florida estate planning attorneys understand the challenges parents of children with special needs face. We also understand the importance of having a comprehensive estate plan to protect a child with special needs should something happen to their parents. A beneficial tool to use when estate planning for special needs children is a Special Needs Trust.

What Is a Special Needs Trust for Estate Planning in Florida?

Social Security Disability (SSI) is disability benefits for low-income, disabled individuals. Children and adults who meet the financial and medical qualifications can receive monthly disability payments. They also qualify for other government aid and benefits, including Medicaid.

However, if your disabled child receives an inheritance or other resources, they could lose their SSI and other government benefits. Therefore, setting up a Special Needs Trust for your child is advisable.

A Special Needs Trust is a legal trust created to hold inheritances and other funds received by a disabled individual. The trust holds the funds, so they do not count towards the income caps for Social Security disability, Medicaid, and other government aid. Typically, the funds in the trust can be used for various expenses for the disabled person, but cannot be used towards housing or food.

Special Needs Trusts are an excellent vehicle for parents to use to ensure their special needs children will have the use of their inheritance while continuing to receive the disability and government benefits they need. You designate a trusted person to serve as trustee that you can count on to help provide for your special needs child after your death.

Nominate a Guardian for Minor Children With Special Needs

Parents of minor children with special needs must nominate a guardian to care for the child if the parents die before the child is an adult. The trustee for the Special Needs Trust handles your child’s inheritance through the trust. However, you need a guardian to raise your children until they are adults. Parents can appoint a guardian for their minor children through their Last Will and Testament.

If your special needs child is an adult, an estate planning attorney can help you develop a plan to ensure your adult special needs child has the daily support and care they need if you can no longer provide that care. Depending on your child’s situation, one or more options could be available.

Call Our Florida Estate Planning Attorney for More Information

In addition to special needs trusts, several other estate planning tools can help parents plan for and protect all their children. Contact Law Offices Of Jeffrey A. Herzog, P.A. to schedule a meeting with an experienced Florida estate planning lawyer. We are here to help you develop an estate plan that meets all your needs while ensuring your goals and wishes are honored.