Protecting You & Your Family Since 2001 SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION

Special Needs Trusts Attorney in Boca Raton, Florida

Navigating the world of estate planning, especially when it involves a beneficiary with special needs, can be both challenging and overwhelming. The myriad of legal intricacies can make your head spin, when all you want to do is make sure your family is taken care of. I understand that you're seeking not just legal counsel, but also a compassionate guide who can help you secure the future of your loved one. 

My firm, Eric H. Light, P.A., is located in Boca Raton, Florida, and serves clients across the entire state, I am your partner in this journey. I am committed to providing personalized and proactive estate planning services, seeking to protect your loved ones' financial security and well-being. 

Understanding Special Needs Trusts 

A Special Needs Trust — or, as it's sometimes referred to, a Supplemental Needs Trust — is a legal instrument designed to ensure the financial stability of a loved one with a disability. This trust allows you to set funds aside for their benefit without putting their eligibility for government benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid at risk. It's designed to cater to the unique needs and expenses of individuals with disabilities while supplementing the government benefits they receive. 

Establishing the Rules for Special Needs Trusts 

In setting up a Special Needs Trust, it's crucial to be aware of the rules and regulations that dictate how the trust funds can be used. The trust money cannot be spent on basic support and maintenance expenses, for doing so might jeopardize the individual's eligibility for government benefits. Instead, these funds can be used for a wide array of goods and services aimed at enhancing the individual's quality of life, such as personal care attendants, vacations, home furnishings, medical and dental expenses, education, recreation, vehicles, and physical rehabilitation. 

Dependable Legal Guidance

Funding a Special Needs Trust 

There are several methods to fund a Special Needs Trust. One common way is to leave money directly to the trust in your will or through a life insurance policy. This method allows you to provide for your loved one with special needs while simultaneously safeguarding their government benefits. Another option is to establish an ABLE account, a tax-advantaged savings account specifically designed for individuals with disabilities. 

Choosing the Right Trustee 

Selecting the right trustee is a critical step for the success of a Special Needs Trust. The trustee is entrusted with the responsibility of managing the trust funds and making decisions on behalf of the beneficiary. You need to choose someone who is trustworthy, financially responsible, and has a good understanding of the unique needs of individuals with disabilities. In some instances, a professional trustee, or a pooled trust administered by a nonprofit organization may be a suitable choice. 

Exploring Alternatives to Special Needs Trusts 

While Special Needs Trusts are a popular choice for planning for the future of a loved one with special needs, there are alternative options to consider. These include leaving money directly to another family member whom you trust to help your loved one or establishing an ABLE account. Each option comes with its own set of advantages and considerations, so it's important to consult with an attorney to determine the best approach for your specific situation. 

The Role of an Attorney in Creating a Special Needs Trust 

Creating a Special Needs Trust without legal guidance is possible, but it's highly recommended to consult with an attorney. An attorney can provide valuable expertise and ensure that the trust is properly drafted and executed in accordance with state laws. Moreover, an attorney can guide you through the complexities of funding the trust and choosing the right trustee. If you plan to fund the trust with the beneficiary's own money or have significant assets that require careful planning, seeking legal advice becomes even more crucial. 

Special Needs Trusts Attorney Serving Boca Raton, Florida

Planning for the future of a loved one with special needs may be a complex and emotional process, but you don't have to face it alone. At Eric H. Light, P.A., I am here to provide personalized estate planning services to families in Boca Raton, Florida, and the surrounding areas. My commitment to open communication and my knowledge in Special Needs Trusts can help you create a comprehensive plan that protects your loved one's financial security and well-being.