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Daytona: 140 South Beach St., Suite 310, Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Winter Park:  2281 Lee Rd., Suite 102, Winter Park, FL 32789       
Clearwater:    235 N. Garden Ave., Clearwater, FL 33755
Lake Mary: ​1540 International Pkwy, Suite 2000, Lake Mary, FL 32746

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Questions and Answers on Florida Special Needs Trusts

Q: How does a special needs trust differ from a revocable or irrevocable trust?

A: A special needs trust is a very unique trust for which an individual must qualify. There are several clauses that must be included that would never be found in any standard trust.

One major difference is that the beneficiary cannot be either the grantor or the trustee. In addition, there are only a few people who can actually qualify as the grantor of a special needs trust. Another difference is that a special needs trust must specifically reference the federal or state statute under which it was created to be a valid, exempt trust. It must also provide for the payback of medical assistance benefits provided upon the death of the disabled to the state.

Q: Who should have a special needs trust?

A: Any qualified disabled individual under the age of 65 should have a special needs trust if it’s at all possible. Special needs trusts are used for a disabled individual’s supplemental needs – meaning the needs that are not paid for by the state medical assistance programs or any other public benefits.

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Florida Special Needs Trusts

A special needs trust is a trust for the benefit of a disabled individual under the age of 65 who qualifies as disabled under federal law or a relevant state statute which provides for the repayment to the state for medical assistance, or Medicaid benefits, provided upon the death of the disabled individual. Medicare and Social Security kick in after the age of 65 and the federal requirement only allows the special needs trust to be exempt up to age 65.