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Tampa Special Needs Trust Lawyer

Special Needs Trusts (SNTs), also known as Supplemental Needs Trusts, are a crucial estate planning tool designed to provide financial support to individuals with disabilities without jeopardizing their eligibility for government assistance programs such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). By setting up a Special Needs Trust, you can ensure that your loved one with special needs has access to the resources they need for a comfortable and secure life, without sacrificing the benefits they receive from public assistance programs. Get started today utilizing this powerful and necessary legal tool. Contact Messina Law Group to set up a consultation with our experienced Tampa special needs trust lawyer.

Types of Special Needs Trusts

There are primarily three types of Special Needs Trusts, each serving different purposes:

  1. First-Party Special Needs Trusts: These trusts are funded with the assets of the person with disabilities, often from an inheritance, personal injury settlement, or other sources. They are used to preserve eligibility for public benefits while allowing the beneficiary to use their own assets for supplemental needs.
  2. Third-Party Special Needs Trusts: Funded with assets from someone other than the beneficiary, such as parents or other family members, these trusts provide financial support without affecting the beneficiary’s eligibility for government benefits.
  3. Pooled Trusts: Managed by nonprofit organizations, pooled trusts combine the assets of multiple beneficiaries with special needs, allowing for cost-effective management and investment. Each beneficiary has a separate account, and funds are used for their benefit.

Benefits of Establishing a Special Needs Trust

  1. Preservation of Government Benefits: By keeping assets in a trust, your loved one can remain eligible for vital government assistance programs.
  2. Controlled Distribution of Funds: You can specify how the trust’s assets are to be used, ensuring that they are spent on your loved one’s supplemental needs, such as education, therapy, or personal care.
  3. Protection from Creditors: Assets held in a Special Needs Trust are generally protected from creditors, including those seeking repayment for medical bills or other debts.
  4. Professional Management: A trustee, which can be an individual or a professional trust management company, oversees the trust’s assets and ensures they are used appropriately for the beneficiary’s benefit.

Considerations for Setting Up a Special Needs Trust in Tampa

  1. Choosing the Right Type of Trust: Consult with a Tampa estate planning attorney to determine which type of Special Needs Trust is best suited for your situation.
  2. Selecting a Trustee: The trustee plays a crucial role in managing the trust. Choose someone who is trustworthy, knowledgeable, and capable of handling the responsibilities.
  3. Understanding Tax Implications: Special Needs Trusts have specific tax considerations. Work with an attorney and a tax professional to understand the tax implications for your trust.
  4. Compliance with Legal Requirements: Ensure that your Special Needs Trust complies with all federal and Florida state laws to maintain its validity and effectiveness. Legal advice and technical assistance are critical to creating a valid trust that serves your family’s needs.

Contact Messina Law Group for Help With Special Needs Trusts in Tampa

Special Needs Trusts offer a powerful way to provide for a loved one with disabilities while preserving their eligibility for essential government benefits. By working with a skilled Tampa estate planning attorney, you can create a trust that meets your loved one’s unique needs and gives you peace of mind knowing their future is secure. Call Messina Law Group in Tampa today at 813-492-7798 to discuss how a Special Needs Trust can be a vital part of your estate planning.

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