Special Needs Planning
What will happen to my disabled loved one if I am no longer here?
This is probably the scariest question for you to ask. We have answers. As experienced and knowledgeable special needs attorneys, our goal is to help you plan for the future and security of your special loved one with a disability. Have you ever wondered who will take care of and provide for your child with special needs after you are gone? How do you pass an inheritance on to your special needs loved one (when he or she cannot have more than $2,000.00) without affecting their governmental benefits?
If you have a loved one with a disability - and rely upon a Will to cover their future care - your loved one's inheritance may be taken away by the government. To ensure that governmental benefits (such as Medicaid or SSI) are never altered, diminished or destroyed, it is imperative that you complete Special Needs Planning - including a special needs trust either within your Will or under a separate document.
A properly drafted Special Needs Estate and Financial Plan will specify that the money is not to replace the benefits, but is to supplement them and ensure that funding is available to meet your goals. The funds you leave behind can then be used for extra medical care, personal items such as TV's, radios, computers, vacations, companionship, advocates or any other item or service to better the disabled person's quality of life.
- Special Needs Trusts and Wills: Our attorneys are experienced authors of Special Needs Trusts (SNT) and Wills for individuals with special needs. Their understanding of this discipline will help to provide long-term financial security, and a responsible disbursement of assets through the drafting of Wills, often including a SNT within the Will.
- Medicaid, SSI and Entitlement Program Eligibility: Personal injury awards and structured settlements may compromise an individual's ability to access public benefits like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). We partner with Plaintiff attorneys to discuss ways in which to protect those benefits for their clients. We also assist our client is completing Medicaid applications and, if necessary, appeal a denial or reduction of benefits. See our Medicaid Planning and Asset Protection for additional information.
- Financial Planning and Legal Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities:We offer a full suite of financial and legal assistance for individuals with special needs, including: drafting demand packages, settlement negotiations, Probate Court appearances and motion filings. See our Nursing Home Abuse Page for additional information.
- Guardianships and Conservatorships: Guardianships and the many available alternatives are a significant part of our practice. We have experience in establishing, defending, and administering a guardianship whenever necessary or required to meet the needs of an elderly or disabled family member. See our Guardianship Page for additional information.
- Assistance with Personal Injury/Medical Malpractice Settlements: With a dedication to disability and public benefits law, we are well-equipped to assist personal injury attorneys in matters involving individuals with special needs.
- Trust and Estate Distributions and Fiduciary Accountings: We have experience in the distribution of trust and estate monies to ensure that funds and fund transfers are handled properly.
- Estate and Trust Administration: In cases that require a third-party administrator to oversee an Estate or Trust, we are skilled in either assuming those responsibilities or assisting those you appoint with those responsibilities. We bring to bear all the requisite knowledge and experience that provides families and caregivers peace of mind.
- Health Care Decisions and Advance Directives: We frequently confront the issue of personal control of health care decision making as it pertains to our disabled and elderly clients. We are familiar with the issues and problems facing these clients as they plan for their long-term health care.