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Planning for special needs children

Florida parents who have special needs children might want to think about their estate plans in a way that might address the future needs of their offspring. This might require some careful thought and some different types of approaches.

One thing that makes it difficult to plan for special needs children is that many parents are uncertain what their children's needs might be in the future. Children who will be eligible for government benefits might require special needs trusts to help to support them while not interfering with their eligibility for benefits.

Special needs trusts can be established to pay for specific things that adult children might need rather than giving the money directly to them. Children with special needs who receive inheritances of money may lose their benefits. If the money is instead placed into special needs trusts for them, it will not interfere with their benefits. The special needs trusts must be written in a specific way so that they will not supplant the government benefits.

People who have children with special needs might benefit from consulting with experienced estate planning attorneys who can help their clients understand the options that they have to make certain that their children will be provided for after they are gone. Well-drafted special needs trusts may offer peace of mind to the parents of children who will likely need to rely on federal benefits such as SSI and Medicaid when they are adults. The funds in the trust can help to pay for some of the children's costs such as housing while not impacting their ability to qualify for and to continue receiving the benefits that they deserve.

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Kramer A. Litvak, P.A.
226 East Government Street
Pensacola, FL 32502

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