Caring for a special needs loved one after you are gone

There are many considerations that a Florida family must take for a loved one with special needs. From education to medical care, there are multiple factors that go into the continued care and well-being of people who cannot care for themselves. If you support and provide for an individual with disabilities or special needs, you would be wise to include his or her care as part of your estate plan.

One of the ways that a person can do this is to draft a special needs trust. Not only will this ensure that your loved one will have the financial resources necessary to continue with needed care, it will provide you with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that this sensitive issue is cared for.

Things to consider when drafting your special needs trust 

Simply having a will is not enough to protect the interests of a special needs loved one. You need additional tools to protect the assets you wish to set aside, which likely includes this particular type of trust. Some of the things you may wish to consider when setting this trust up include the following:

  • If your loved one qualifies for government assistance, such as Medicaid or housing assistance, the money set aside in a special needs trust will not affect his or her eligibility for benefits.
  • When setting up a trust, you will designate a trustee who will oversee the distribution and use of assets in the trust. This can be a family member, trusted family friend or other responsible individual.
  • The wording of a special needs trust is crucial to its effectiveness. For example, it should mention that the intent of the trust is to supplement any assistance that a person receives from government agencies.

With the right estate planning tools in place, you can provide money for medical care, housing, food, clothing and other needs, even long after you are gone.

A custom-tailored estate plan

Just as no two families are the same, no two estate plans are the same. Yours should meet your unique needs and specific objectives, and if you are caring for a loved one, you want to plan for their continued care long into the future.

You have the right to decide what will happen to your assets. You can decide to provide for a specific family member, setting aside assets for a person who may not be able to care for themselves now or will not be able to in the future.

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