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Special Needs Trusts

Helping You Provide For Your Loved Ones With Special Needs

If you have a loved one with physical or mental impairments or disabilities, they should be a significant part of your estate plan to ensure they receive the care needed once you are no longer able to provide for them. One of the best options available is to create a special needs trust. Whether you are just starting to think about estate planning or would like to update your plans, a Palm Beach County special needs trust lawyer can help you make sure your loved ones are taken care of upon your death. 

What Is a Special Needs Trust?

A special needs trust is an estate planning tool that allows a person with special needs to receive income without compromising their ability to receive public benefits. Like other trusts, the legal title to the assets in a special needs are held by a trustee for the benefit of the person with special needs. The trustee manages the assets according to the terms of the trust agreement, with a fiduciary duty to act in the beneficiary’s best interests at all times.  

Why Is a Special Needs Trust Important?

Many individuals with special needs depend on public benefits for their health care and other necessities. A large inheritance could immediately disqualify them from receiving those benefits. Given the cost of healthcare and similar services, this could quickly drain other assets and income sources the family may have. 

By creating a special needs trust, you can provide care and services that are ordinarily not covered by public benefits, such as: 

  • Private education or training
  • Additional health care or dental care
  • Additional medical equipment
  • Travel and communication services and expenses for family purposes

A Palm Beach County special needs trust lawyer can create the trust for you and help you fund it, ensuring that you can do your best for all of your loved ones without compromising the quality of care for those with special needs. 

First-Party Special Needs Trusts

These are special need trusts established by the beneficiary, the beneficiary’s parents, or the beneficiary’s guardian, and are funded with assets that belong to the beneficiary. First-party special needs trusts are irrevocable, meaning that the assets held in trust may only be used for the beneficiary’s sole benefit. They are handy estate planning tools for people who are worried that they may become disabled later in life or for people who expect to receive a sizable inheritance or other assets in the near future. 

It is important to note that these trusts have one significant drawback - if any amounts remain in the trust at the time of the beneficiary’s death, the remainder must be paid back to the government up to the amount of public benefits the beneficiary received. 

Third-Party Special Needs Trusts

These are special needs trusts that are established by someone other than the beneficiary to provide care for the beneficiary’s unique needs. They offer a great deal of flexibility in that they can be revocable or irrevocable, and they can be an independent trust or part of your overall estate plan. Any amounts remaining in the trust at the time of the beneficiary’s death do not need to be paid back to the government. 

Talk to a Palm Beach County Special Needs Trust Lawyer Today

Special needs trusts can provide vital support for a loved one who has special needs. However, determining which trust is right for you and how it should be structured is an important decision that requires careful consideration. A Palm Beach County special needs trust lawyer at Comiter, Singer, Baseman & Braun can help you make the right choices. Contact us at 800-226-1484 to schedule an appointment to discuss your needs and how we can help. 

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