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Winter Haven, FL Special Needs Planning Lawyer

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Do you live in or near Winter Haven, FL, and care for a family member with special needs? If so, be sure to begin planning now for their future long-term care. Many dependents with special needs often must be supported in the same way they were raised for their entire lives. Sadly, you may not be around for their entire life, and none of us are promised tomorrow, thus, planning for the long-term needs of our family members with special needs today is important.

Our Winter Haven special needs planning lawyer, O. Reginald “Reggie” Osenton, has an unparalleled combination of compassion and legal experience. With over 33 years of estate planning experience, Reggie Osenton is the lawyer for your needs, today and in the future.

Winter Haven Special Needs Planning Lawyer

What Is Special Needs Planning? 

Special needs planning distributes your assets to disabled beneficiaries after your death without affecting their eligibility for government benefits.

Many people imagine they’ll leave the disabled beneficiary an inheritance or assume the other family members will care for them. Those assumptions can cause major issues. If you’re not present, your loved one will have to rely on means-tested Social Security and Medicaid. Therefore, leaving children an inheritance may disqualify them. Often, your anticipated inheritance must go through probate court. If they needed it immediately, lawyers’ expenses would eat it up. Sometimes your loved one’s limitations make them too vulnerable to handle money.

Unfortunately, creditors and family disputes often claim that money. More significantly, leaving a will doesn’t guarantee your special-needs loved one will receive the care you want. Special needs planning is the safest and most effective strategy to guarantee a loved one’s financial future for the rest of their lifetime.

How Does Special Needs Planning Work?

Special needs planning helps you find a guardian and caregivers, find housing, create special needs trusts, and take other steps that can improve your loved one’s life.

Creating a special needs trust, a key component of special needs planning, is complicated, and you need skilled legal help to construct one that protects your disabled beneficiary’s finances. Osenton Law, P.A. gets to know you and your family because we want your loved one to thrive independently. Reggie, our lead Winter Haven special needs planning lawyer, will listen, talk about your goals, ask questions, answer your unstated questions, explain your legal alternatives, and prepare the legal documents you need to provide for your special needs beneficiary.

We’ll explain what you’ll gain from having Osenton Law, P.A. attorneys represent you. Our job is to relieve the legal pressure so you may focus on providing the finest care for your loved one now!

Basic Types Of Special Needs Trusts 

The most common special needs planning tool used by parents, family members, and other legal guardians of disabled people is a special needs trust, which allows you to designate a trustee to manage your financial assets for your disabled loved one according to your explicit wishes and instructions. The assets will not be owned in their name, potentially allowing them to retain eligibility for government benefit programs.

There are two main types of special needs trusts: first-party and third-party trusts.

First-party trusts

First-party special needs trusts are funds for trusts that belong to the disabled beneficiary, such as money from a divorce settlement, a retirement plan, a personal injury lawsuit, or an inheritance. This type of trust is irrevocable. Irrevocable means that the terms of the trust cannot be changed after the trust is created. The proceeds of a first-party trust can be used only for things that benefits programs don’t cover, and there is a payback provision, which essentially means that government agencies can get paid back for benefits they paid for the beneficiary after they pass away.

Third-party trusts

Third-party trusts are the most frequently used trust arrangements, funded with the assets of a parent, sibling, grandparent, or other third party, and guarantee your relative will have the funds necessary to enjoy the highest quality of life possible while you and any other caretakers are no longer alive. A third-party trust is a situation in which the beneficiary never legally owns the assets, and therefore he or she can’t make decisions about how to spend them because a trustee will be managing the funds. At the death of the beneficiary, there is no obligation or pressure from the state to repay the money.

No two special needs plans are the same, and different trusts serve different purposes. Our firm will help you assess your options and choose the trust that best fits your loved one’s future.

Contact Our Experienced Winter Haven Special Needs Planning Lawyer Today

Planning for the future of your loved one who has special needs can be emotionally challenging as well as legally difficult. Our Winter Haven special needs planning lawyer can keep the process as smooth and straightforward as possible and provide you with peace of mind. Call Osenton Law, P.A., to schedule a free consultation and get started.

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