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Tampa Business Litigation Attorneys / Tampa Special Needs Trust Attorney

Tampa Special Needs Trust Attorney

In Florida, special needs trusts are legal documents that are meant to benefit a beneficiary with a physical or mental disability. You can place property into a special needs trust without worrying that doing so will negatively impact the government benefits the beneficiary receives, such as Medicaid or SSI, or Supplemental Security Income. Due to this, there are certain limitations placed on special needs trusts. For example, the assets within this type of trust cannot be used to cover expenses that government benefits are covering.

Drafting a special needs trust is sometimes quite complex, as several rules and laws govern these key estate planning resources. Our Tampa special needs trust attorney outlines what you need to know about these documents below.

Medicaid and Special Needs Trusts

Medicaid is a government program that provides coverage for many different expenses, including long-term care. Medicaid, though, is a needs-based program. As such, a person who applies for Medicaid cannot have assets valued at more than $2,000. Any property that is used to fund a trust, however, are not counted for Medicaid eligibility. Trusts typically authorize the trustee to dispense income or assets to the designated beneficiary, but it cannot disqualify or diminish the Medicaid benefit the beneficiary receives.

While the property contained in a special needs trust is not considered when determining whether a person is eligible or ineligible for Medicaid, it can be used to cover living expenses the program does not provide for. These costs can include mortgage payments, rent, food, and utilities.

Third Party Special Needs Trusts

Third party special needs trusts can be a separate trust, or they can be incorporated into an existing trust. As the name suggests, these trusts are created by a third party for the good of a beneficiary that receives Medicaid coverage. Grandparents and parents are typically the third parties who draft these trusts. In these cases, a trust is often created that has a special needs provision. The provision instructs the trustee to withhold and retain any funds or property within the trust that could impact the Medicaid, SSI, and other government benefits the beneficiary receives.

Many living trusts contain a special needs provision, as they are an important planning tool. The third parties who create them cannot predict the future health of their beneficiaries, and whether or not they will require government assistance. If the beneficiary named within a special needs trust dies before using the property within a trust, the remaining assets are then transferred to the original beneficiaries heirs and descendants.

Contact Our Special Needs Trusts Lawyer in Tampa for More Information

While a special needs trust can help your family significantly, they can only provide that protection if they are executed properly. At BBDG Law, our Tampa special needs trusts lawyer can advise on the facts of your case and ensure your trust is drafted and funded properly. Call us today at (813) 221-3759 or fill out our online form to request a consultation and to get the information you need.