Estate planning is important for Florida residents. It can take on an even more significant role if a person has a special needs child to take care of. Parents should look into what types of benefits a child may entitled to and the level of care that he or she will need both now and into the future.

A discretionary trust may be ideal for parents who can pay for their child’s care without the need for government assistance. With this type of a trust, money inside of it can be distributed to the child whenever it is needed. Those who will need help to pay for care will usually create a special needs trust. When drafted properly, it allows for that child to receive both assets from the trust and assistance from the government.

The trust does not need to be completed or funded as soon as the child is born or a diagnosis is made. Instead, it may be created and left empty until a parent dies. At that point, assets will be poured into it. If the child already has a trust, the trustee may be directed to create a special needs trust if it becomes apparent that it will be useful in the future.

There are many strategies that parents may use to help their kids get the care that they need. An attorney may be able to provide insight into these strategies as well as which ones may be best for a parent to use. Ideally, an estate plan will be flexible enough to account for a child’s current needs and any that may arise in the future. A child’s doctor may be able to explain what those needs could be.