Probably one of the most prevalent worries for parents of special needs children is the long-term care of that child once the parents are gone. There are ways to plan for the care of a long-term special needs heir via special trusts, including:
Housing – A special needs trust allows parents to place assets in trust for the benefit of a special needs heir without endangering their government benefits. A qualified personal residence trust (QPRT) allows parents to stay in the home with the special needs child, and upon their death transfers ownership to an heir – for example, another adult child or a charity – at a discount to the current market value.
Long-term care – should the parent of a special needs child under the age of 65 need long-term care, a special needs trust can shelter parental assets and still allow the parent to qualify for Medicaid coverage.
Inheritance – in order to avoid a special needs child from being disqualified for government services, parents may be tempted to leave everything to their other children with the proviso that they care for their special needs sibling. However, those assets could go to others if one of the other children gets divorced or dies. Parents should consider leaving equal shares to all children, and placing the special needs child’s shares in a trust.
There are many estate planning options available to parents and other relatives of special needs children to ensure they continue to live fulfilled lives, even after you are gone. An experienced Florida estate planning attorney can help you find the best plan for your family.
With the proper guidance, you can protect your finances and spare your loved ones the frustration of having to make costly and difficult decisions. Contact us for your free initial consultation at one of our conveniently located offices in Fort Pierce, Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, and Okeechobee.