Tips for Planning Your Estate When Your Loved One Has Multiple Sclerosis


Do you have a loved one with Multiple Sclerosis? Are you concerned about their future? As you help your loved one with the difficulties of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) you are also providing not only emotional support and understanding but also meticulous planning and foresight, especially when it comes to securing the financial future of your loved one affected by this condition. You need to know that special needs planning can be an essential step for you to investigate to provide for the long-term care and financial security of your loved one with MS. 

During National Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week, and any time throughout the year, you may have questions and we want to answer them.  Our blog will introduce and review tips, including the creation of a special needs trust, the potential for charitable giving, and the importance of a comprehensive Florida estate plan, all while working closely with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney.

Creating a special needs trust is one of the most critical components of special needs planning for your loved one with MS. Because there are different levels of this disease, discuss with your loved one who could be inheriting from you, what makes the most sense to them at this time. With legal planning you can allow your loved one  with MS to receive income without risking their eligibility for vital government benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Be aware that without a special needs trust, any inheritance could directly impact the ability of your loved one to qualify for these benefits.

A special needs trust can provide for the supplementary needs of your loved one, covering expenses like:

  • Personal care attendants, 
  • Out-of-pocket medical costs, 
  • Transportation, 
  • Trips,
  • and other life-enhancing expenditures not covered by government programs. 

With the special needs trust you create you will ensure they will have the resources they need to live a comfortable life without compromising their eligibility for essential benefits.

Have you thought about supporting research and programs dedicated to finding a cure or enhancing the quality of life for those with MS? You may want to discuss with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney the best way to include a charitable giving component in your estate plan. This can be a meaningful way to contribute to these efforts. You might consider designating a portion of your estate to go to a reputable MS charity or research organization. This not only honors the journey of your loved one but also helps advance the fight against MS.

As you keep your attention on the needs of your loved one with MS, it is also a time to be sure that your Florida estate plan is in order. With your estate plan you can be sure your wishes for your legacy, including any provisions for your loved one with MS, are well established and outline your desires for your own end-of-life care. A comprehensive Florida estate plan will give you peace of mind that your affairs are in order and your loved one’s future is secure.

As you can see, the complexities of estate planning and special needs trusts require professional guidance. A Florida attorney who specializes in estate planning and understands the specific long-term care challenges faced by families dealing with MS can offer excellent advice. Your attorney will help you understand the legal requirements, make sure that your estate plan and special needs trust are correctly structured, and give you advice you on the best strategies to protect your loved one’s financial future while maximizing their quality of life.

We know this article raises more questions than it answers. Our firm is here to support you now and available to answer your questions.  No matter where you are in life’s journey, we can help. The most important thing is to protect yourself and those you love.  Whether you need to update your estate plan, are preparing for future long-term care needs, or have a loved one entering or already in a nursing home, we are ready to assist you. We have three convenient locations and are ready to serve the communities around Highlands and Polk County, Florida. Take your first step by contacting us today.

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