As a Florida Estate Planning Attorney, I often get involved in planning for Disabled Florida Adults and Children. Often these individuals are receiving government benefits or expect to receive the in the future due to a physical or mental illness or disability. In some cases clients expect their spouse to need these benefits soon. If the individual receives income that is to create or acquires or maintains assets above a certain level, they will be unable to qualify for these government benefits.
Often the solution is to create a Florida Special or Supplemental Needs Trust. This trust can hold assets and income that would typically disqualify an individual. This money can then be used to supplement their lifestyle. If you have minor or adult children (or non-child beneficiaries) who are either receiving government benefits currently, or may receive them in the future due to a mental or physical disability, then you need to know about special needs trusts. These trusts are certainly important enough to spend the next two posts discussing them. The Connecticut Estate Planning Blog has a two part article on this topic and the rules there seem to be very similar to those in Florida. If you have someone in your family who is currently disabled, or you expect to need government benefits in the future, you should discuss this with a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer so that you can determine what the best option for your particular situation is.