Being the primary caregiver of a loved one with special needs is a massive responsibility that takes patience, understanding, and an enormous amount of planning. Fortunately, worrying about what will happen to your loved one should you pass away or are otherwise unable to care for them is a concern the team at TEPS LAW, LLC can alleviate.
The purpose of special needs planning is to provide a way for a caregiver to ensure their loved one will be cared for after they are gone without sacrificing any public benefits their loved one may be qualified to receive. By establishing a plan before it is needed, you increase the likelihood of preventing future complications. It is impossible to know how family members may react to your passing, but with a plan already in place, you can rest assured your loved one with special needs will be provided for in the way you intended.
Special Needs Trusts
A trust is a fiduciary relationship whereby a third party, or trustee, holds assets on behalf of the beneficiary. The purpose of a special needs trust is two-fold: (1) to manage funds for their special needs loved one, and (2) preserve the disabled person’s ability to receive public benefits such as Social Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid.
There are numerous situations in which a special needs trust is needed:
- A parent or grandparent planning for a disabled child
- Individual planning for their disabled spouse
- A situation in which a disabled person wins a personal injury lawsuit
First Party Special Needs Trust
A first-party, or self-settled, special needs trust is one that is funded using the disabled person’s own funds. It is generally used in situations such as when the disabled person receives a gift, a settlement from a lawsuit, or an inheritance. In most circumstances, a first-party special needs trust allows the beneficiary to retain these funds in the trust and prevents the funds from being counted when the beneficiary’s eligibility for public benefits is being determined.
Third-Party Special Needs Trust
A third-party special needs trust is one that is funded by someone other than the beneficiary. A common example is when a parent or grandparent passes away and wants to ensure the beneficiary is cared for after they are gone. If a goal of the third-party special needs trust is to provide for the beneficiary without having the funds counted when the beneficiary’s eligibility for public benefits is being determined, it is imperative that the beneficiary not be able to terminate, revoke, or direct the trust assets.
Contact Our Firm Today to Get Started
Contact TEPS LAW today to speak with an experienced special needs planning attorney. Our knowledge of special needs trusts and future planning can help ensure your family is prepared in the event of a death. contact us online or by calling 954-710-9400 to schedule an initial consultation with our Florida special needs estate planning lawyer. We now offer additional options for your convenience. Virtual and telephonic consultations are now available by appointment.