Special Needs Planning involves developing a plan that provides lifelong support for your loved one who has a disability.
If your loved one has a physical, emotional, or medical condition resulting in a disability, Special Needs Planning is essential. Without Special Needs Planning, you and your loved one could miss out on a wealth of free resources that would enhance your loved one’s life.
We understand the complex decisions facing the families of a loved one who has a disability, and we help guide decision makers as they provide for their loved ones’ needs. Our Special Needs Plans are created to meet your specific current and future goals and will truly enhance your loved one’s life.
We will guide you step-by-step through the Special Needs Planning process.
- An aging couple came to the law firm to begin their estate planning and wanted to provide for their adult daughter who had a seizure disorder. We accomplished their legal planning, including updated wills and powers of attorney, trusts to protect their home and assets, and a special needs trust to benefit their daughter. We engaged the family in a visioning process through the Summary of Wishes. Beyond concerns about their daughter’s future needs, it was clear that they needed a break from their current day to day care-giving responsibilities. We referred their daughter to a community program serving adults who have disabilities. She is able to spend several hours a day engaged in socially stimulating activities while her parents enjoy freedom from their care giving responsibilities for the first time in years.
- A caseworker called from the local office of mental health. Her client had unexpectedly inherited her brother’s estate, putting her SSI benefits in jeopardy. We drafted a first party special needs trust to receive the inheritance, preserving benefits and providing for the future needs of the beneficiary.
- A referral from a personal injury attorney involved a young man who was severely injured and in need of round the clock care. We recommended an assessment by a life care planner, who could estimate the cost of the disability over the expected life of the client. This resulted in a significantly higher settlement. We created a first party trust for the settlement funds. In addition, the family had been providing much of the young man’s care so a caregiver agreement was executed that allowed those caregivers to be paid out of the trust funds. Finally, we scheduled interviews between the family and corporate trustees and negotiated the trustee’s fee for administering the trust.
- A young working woman was having a difficult time paying the co-pays for her very expensive medication. She also was at risk for losing her private health insurance. Because she was able to work part time, we assisted her in enrolling in the Medical Assistance for Workers with Disability (MAWD) program. Because her family had given her financial gifts as a child, her assets were over the eligibility limit. We drafted a first party trust to hold the funds that put her over the asset limit. She was approved for the Medical Assistance insurance through this program. In addition a third party trust was established to receive future gifts from her family.
- The family of a son with Autism wanted to encourage their son’s artistic abilities and provide him with a chance to earn money through his art. We helped them establish a business to market his artwork and legal documents and a plan to make sure his benefits were preserved. In addition, a special needs trust was established to receive future gifts and inheritances.