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Planning for the long-term care of a special needs child

One of the primary goals for Florida parents who have children with specific needs is ensuring that their child has what he or she needs for long-term security. This means estate planning with the goal of providing for him or her years into the future, setting aside assets that will cover needs perhaps not covered by government assistance. Parents of children with special needs can establish a trust specifically designed with this goal in mind. 

The benefits of a special needs trust 

Passing money directly to an heir may seem simplest, but this can have unintended consequences. A special needs individual may not be able to effectively manage a large sum of money. Additionally, a significant monetary gift may compromise an individual’s eligibility for government assistance, such as housing support or Medicaid.  

A special needs trust provides one with the opportunity to set aside and protect assets for the purpose of covering specific needs a child may have in the future. These funds can cover needs associated with quality-of-life, such as clothing, and other things not covered by benefits. A parent establishing this trust can name a trustee to oversee the distribution of these assets. 

Coverage of all estate planning needs 

A Florida parent’s estate plan may not be complete without a special needs trust. This step could provide assurance that a child’s needs are covered long-term, even after the parent passes away. An assessment of the specific situation will reveal if this is a prudent step for someone as he or she considers individual estate planning needs.