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What Is A Special Needs Trust?


A special needs trust is a special trust that allows you to support, and protect, a family member with special needs of one sort or another.

Clarifying what a special needs trust is, and speaking with an estate planning lawyer who can help you develop one, will allow you to protect your family members.

What Is A Trust? 

A trust is a relationship that allows one individual – a trustee – to hold onto certain assets.

Right after the individual who gave the trustee those assets passes away, they go to the beneficiaries that the individual chose.

Just as an example, if you have a house that you would like to give your daughter, you can put that house into a trust.

The act of putting this house into a trust, and giving it to a trustee, allows those houses to be transferred to your daughter with relative ease.

On the other hand, if you put this house into a will, or some other estate planning arrangement, the house may need to pass through probate.

The act of passing through probate can lead to delays, expenses, and challenges that make it more difficult for your daughter to get their house in a timely manner.

A trust is a safe, effective way of transferring assets to your beneficiaries, without the problems and difficulties that many other estate planning arrangements can create.

What Is A Special Needs Trust? 

A special needs trust is a trust that allows those who have special needs to protect their assets, while also remaining eligible for the government programs that they need.

If a person with special needs relies on Social Security and Medicaid, for example, then they can set up a trust that allows a trustee to oversee the assets that might put them at risk of being unable to receive those programs.

Just as an example, if a person with special needs doesn’t meet Medicaid’s requirements – they have countable assets worth more than $2,000, for example – then they can put those assets into a trust.

The trustee will oversee the trust, and protect their assets, while allowing the individual with special needs to obtain the care that they need.

Outside of the above, a special needs trust also allows the trustee to distribute income, from the trust, to the person with special needs. This allows them to take care of expenses that Social Security and Medicaid may not cover.

Should You Set Up A Special Needs Trust? 

The answer to this question is “It depends.”

If you are a parent or grandparent, and your child or grandchild has special needs, then there may come a time when they need to make use of government programs.

To ensure that they can do so, it is often wise to develop a special needs trust, so that they can still receive their inheritance, but doing so won’t force them to give up the government programs they rely on.

Speak With A Florida Estate Planning Lawyer Today 

If you would like to develop a special needs trust, then you must work with a lawyer. Speak with a Florida estate planning lawyer at Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group today and we will help you develop an effective special needs trust.




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