A Special Needs Trust serves two purposes. First, it is a way to ensure that a person with disabilities has the funds necessary to lead a substantial life. Second, it allows that person to remain eligible for needs-based public benefits, in addition to having those necessary funds for a high quality of life.
Special Needs Trusts are not meant to fully replace Government programs, such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), but are meant more to supplement such programs. While Government programs provide coverage for things like medical care and shelter, the Special Needs Trust would pay for any additional luxuries and comforts that those Government programs do not cover, deeming them “special needs.”
Here are some examples of expenses that a special needs trust might cover:
-Medical and dental expenses not covered elsewhere
-Special equipment like wheelchairs or specially-equipped vans
-Therapy or rehabilitation services
-Training and education
-Travel, which can include the cost of a companion
-Recreation and entertainment (summer camp, movies or social events, videos, sports equipment)
-Electronic equipment and appliances, computers
-Payments for a companion
-Legal or guardianship expenses
This, of course, is not a complete list of needs that a Special Needs Trust can cover.
We believe it is also worth mentioning that a Special Needs Trust is NOT an ABLE Account, as an ABLE Account has a $15,000 annual contribution limit, for example, and a Special Needs Trust does not. There are many other differences between the two, but that is one major difference. An individual can have a Special Needs Trust and an ABLE Account, it is not one or the other. Which is right will depend on your situation.
We understand there are a lot of decisions to make when it comes to ensuring your loved ones are protected, so we are always here to make the process as easy and comfortable as possible.
If you have questions about a Special Needs Trust in Florida, attorney Mark F. Moss can help you understand what options you have available. To arrange a confidential consultation over the phone or in person in Jacksonville, please call 904-329-7242 or inquire online today.
*Disclaimer: Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not legal advice. This is for informational purposes only. It is best to speak with an attorney about your specific situation, questions, assets, concerns, and needs.