Special Needs Planning

Estate planning by parents who have children with special needs includes many challenges:

  • How do you leave funds for the benefit of the child without causing the child to lose important public benefits?
  • How do you make sure that the funds are well managed?
  • How do you make sure your other children are not over-burdened with caring for the sibling with special needs?
  • What is fair for distributing your estate between your child with special needs and your other children?
  • How do you make sure there is enough money to sustain your special needs child over time?

We help parents who have children with special needs by setting proper trust documents that would help the children protect their current public benefits.  In addition, we ensure that an inheritance does not disturb the child’s public assistance.  We also work closely with Personal Injury Attorneys to ensure that a settlement is properly structured.

A special needs trust or a supplemental needs trust, is a trust that is used primarily to supplement, not to replace, any benefits that a beneficiary may receive from the government.  Assets transferred to a properly established special needs trust will not create a period of ineligibility nor be treated as an available resource for public benefits purposes.

There are three type of special needs trusts:  (1) first-party special needs trusts (2) third-party special needs trusts and (3) pooled trusts.  Each of these trusts serve a different purpose and have different requirements.

For more information, or to make an appointment with one of our Special Needs attorneys, please contact us at (954) 944-2855.

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