The Gift That Keeps on Taking

You’ve heard about A Special Needs Trust the gift that keeps on can also be useful if your giving? What about spouse is receiving longthe gift that keeps on term care Medicaid bentaking? In the world of efits, or is likely to need special needs planning, them in the future. It is there really is such a often beneficial when a thing. And it’s a “gift” disabled spouse is at you don’t want to home, but will need bestow on your loved nursing care once the ones, however wellwell spouse dies. Under intentioned you are. Florida law, when you Joseph S. Karp, pass away, your spouse If you have a disC.E.L.A. is entitled to 30% of abled family member, he probably relies on government your “augmented estate,” whether benefits like Medicaid or SSI, or will or not the assets are probated. By rely on them in the future. It may be leaving this percentage (or more) in a child or grandchild with a chronic a Special Needs Trust for your spouse, emotional or physical disability, or a you ensure that he will not lose spouse in a nursing home. To quali- benefits if you pass away first. Trust fy for benefits, the individual cannot funds can be used for extras like private nurses, perhaps a specialized wheelchair, or Listen to Joe Karp with transportation to attend Anita Finley on Saturday, April 10 family functions. You can from 7:00-7:30 AM and Saturday, also specify who will receive May 8 from 7:30-8:00 AM any remaining trust funds on WSBR 740AM and on the after your spouse passes Internet at www.wsbrradio.com. away. exceed certain asset and/or income The Special Needs Trust is as levels. And there’s the rub: If you give complex an instrument as it is benehim a lump sum, benefits may stop ficial. Consult with a certified elder flowing. You’ve given a gift that law attorney. keeps on taking! Joseph S. Karp is a nationally certiFortunately, with a Special Needs fied and Florida Bar-certified elder law Trust, you can assist your disabled attorney (C.E.L.A.) specializing in the loved one without jeopardizing gov- practice of Trusts, Estates and Elder Law. His offices are located at 2500 ernment benefits. You may create a Special Needs Trust regardless of the Quantum Lakes Drive, Boynton Beach; child’s age. You can fund it now, to 2875 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens; and 1100 SW St. Lucie W. Blvd., Port help with his needs while you’re still St. Lucie. alive, or you can bequest funds Call him at 561-752-4550 (Boynton); through your will or trust that will 561-625-1100 (Palm Beach Gardens); flow into the Special Needs Trust. The or 772-343-8411 (Port St. Lucie). trust can be used to provide such “ex- Toll-free from anywhere: 800-893-9911. tras” as second medical opinions, spe- E-mail: KLF@Karplaw.com or website cial educational equipment, supple- www.karplaw.com. mental types of therapy –i.e., life-enRead The Florida Elder Law and hancing services the government Estate Planning Blog at does not cover. www.karplaw.blogspot.com.

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