Special Needs Planning Lawyer
Parents of children with special needs are appropriately concerned about dying or no longer being able to care adequately for their dependent offspring. While in most instances, estates divide evenly among all children of the deceased, special needs children may require a larger share of the assets for their proper care in a stable and supportive environment.
Special needs planning is not limited to parents with children with mental or physical disabilities. You may have other relatives with special needs who would benefit from your thoughtful planning.
In any case, the laws surrounding special needs financial planning are complicated. Consulting with an experienced and proven special needs and estate lawyer is an essential first step toward your peace of mind.
Creating a Life Care Plan
If you have a disabled child or children who require special care and cannot function without help, you should take precautionary steps to ensure their welfare when you are gone. Working with a qualified special needs planning lawyer, you can create a Life Care Plan designed specifically for that person.
A Life Care Plan is a carefully written roadmap that designates funding for current and future needs of individuals with chronic healthcare and support needs. The individual’s condition may be a result of catastrophic injuries or lifelong mental or physical disabilities.
Special Needs Trusts
Special needs planning is intended to ensure physical care and attention will be provided to those who require assistance for their daily activities. A well-designed Special Needs Trust should supplement support from public sources like Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) without compromising the individual’s eligibility.
A Third-Party Special Needs Trust can be set up by a person (usually a parent) to benefit another individual. The person creating the trust, the settlor or trustor, makes assets available for specific categories of care for the disabled person. The trust can be designed to pay for such things as:
- personal care attendant or companion
- ongoing physical therapy
- medical and dental treatment and check-ups
- entertainment and hobbies
- TV or electronic equipment
Keep in mind that allocating funds for food or shelter can jeopardize the individual’s eligibility for public assistance.
Setting Up a Special Needs Trust
A qualified special needs lawyer can help you walk through the process to set up a special needs trust properly. The essential objectives should include:
- Setting up a trust that retains access to government benefits
- Locating the right environment for the special needs individual in the event of your death
- Naming someone to be a guardian
- Purchasing insurance that will provide financial benefit to the special needs individual after you are gone
As situations change, the trust can be modified to address new circumstances and choices.
Seeking Legal Advice
At some point, possibly at birth, you knew that your special needs child or relative would require help when you are gone. Even though your demise may likely be decades in the future, unfortunate events can occur. Act now to pave the way for continued support for your special needs child.
Consult an Experienced Special Needs Planning Lawyer
Serving clients in Westfield NJ and the surrounding areas, the Nicholas A. Giuditta Law Office provides professional advice and guidance to help parents of special needs children achieve peace of mind and alleviate the worry that can cloud the future for their loved ones.
Failure to act can lead to uncertainty and result in unintended consequences for the special needs person.
Call Giuditta Law for a personal consultation to discuss your circumstances. Let an experienced professional help you to create a thoughtful and well-conceived special needs trust for that special loved one.