As a Florida resident who has a disabled child or adult in your life, you will likely face unique estate planning considerations that differ considerably from those faced by your peers. In addition to getting your own affairs in order, you will likely also need to consider the future needs of your disabled loved one when working on your estate plan. At Frye & Vasquez, P.L., we recognize that many people facing similar circumstances choose to create special needs trusts, and we have helped many clients accomplish this and other similar estate planning objectives.
Per CNBC, the lifetime costs associated with caring for a disabled or special needs child or adult are staggering, and in some cases, they can top $1 million. To help cover these costs, many people with special needs loved ones are establishing special needs trusts, which are types of fiduciary arrangements that allow you to plan for your disabled loved one's future without impacting his or her ability to receive government benefits.
Arguably one of the biggest benefits associated with a special needs trust is the fact that the assets you place inside of it do not directly belong to your child, but rather, a third-party trustee. Because the assets are not your disabled child's property, they cannot impact his or her ability to receive government benefits such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income, which many disabled Americans need to support themselves.
Because recipients of such benefits must undergo means testing in order to receive them, the special needs trust gives you the ability to set aside money for your disabled child's future without making him or her ineligible for government assistance. You can find more about future planning on our webpage.