ABLE account holders received a boon recently, but it seems to have gone unnoticed.
Florida Governor DeSantis signed 38 bills the other day, but the only one widely reported had to do with emergency personnel being given permission by the government to exercise a certain Constitutional right when entering dangerous situations. But one of those many bills was a game-changer for families with disabled loved ones.
ABLE accounts have been around for a few years. They provide people with disabilities a simple, tax-advantaged way to save without affecting government benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. But there was one huge drawback – when the account holder died, Medicaid could take what was left in the account, up to the amount of Medicaid benefits the person received.
Governor DeSantis eliminated that provision in Florida, effective June 30, 2019. Now, when the account holder dies, anything left in the account goes to his or her chosen beneficiaries.
These accounts do have some limitations, and a special needs trust is sometimes a better solution. But, in many cases, an ABLE account and a special needs trust work together beautifully. If you or someone in your family has a qualifying disability that occurred before age 26, talk to your estate planning attorney, elder law attorney, or financial advisor to see whether an ABLE account is a good choice for you.