Protecting Your Disabled Child

A Supplemental Needs Trust, also known as a Special Needs Trust, is a document that is designed to provide a way for you to leave part of some of your estate to a disabled child and still preserve the public assistance benefits provided by any county, state, federal or governmental agency. (This is usually Social Security and Medicaid). You may leave properties such as cash, stocks, bonds, life insurance proceeds and real property to the trust.

An important consideration is identifying the proper individual or entity to manage the trust after your death. This is the Trustee.  This could be another family member, a close friend, or a trust company.  Being appointed and serving as a Trustee is a very serious undertaking. Every Trustee is held to a high standard of performance, considerably higher than the performance acceptable for an individual’s own affairs.  I recommend that the appointed trustee be part of the planning process so that the trustee duties are understood and accepted.

If you need advice on preparing such documents, call the Law Office of Debra G. Simms today at 386.256.4882

This blog post is not case-specific and is provided only for educational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Blog topics may or may not be updated and entries may be out-of-date at the time you view them.

 

 

It is important for estate planning lawyers to be able to assist persons with disabilities.  A common problem for persons with disabilities is unemployment or underemployment.  Therefore, their available funds may be the only resources they will have throughout their life.

A Special Needs Trust will preserve eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid and will supplement the amount of funds a person has throughout their lifetime.  In Florida, the loss of SSI would adversely affect the ability to obtain Medicaid, which might be the only health coverage available for that person.  Additionally, the Trust could be used to pay full price for private health insurance premiums which could then give added benefit (usually superior) to the disabled person.

A Special Needs Trust can also provide legal protections for the person’s assets instead of a Guardianship.  In Florida, Guardianship laws are complex and the process is very costly.

There are various types of Special Needs Trusts, usually depending on the source of the available funds.  Seeking assistance from an Estate Planning or Elder Law attorney is critical when planning for a person with disabilities.

Questions? The Law Office of Debra Simms is here to help. Call us today 386.256.4882

 

This blog post is not case-specific and is provided only for educational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Blog topics may or may not be updated and entries may be out-of-date at the time you view them.

 

Contact Us

Port Orange Office:
Prestige Executive Center
823 Dunlawton Ave. Unit C
Port Orange, FL 32129
Local: 386.256.4882
Toll Free: 877.447.4667
New Smyrna Beach Office:
629 N. Dixie HWY
New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168
Local: 386.256.4882
Toll Free: 877.447.4667

[recaptcha theme:dark]