Caring for a person with special needs may bring many challenges. In general, you want to ensure that your child with a disability will be cared for throughout his or her lifetime, even after you are no longer with us. Financial support is also main concern. Whether one is born with a disability, or acquires it later in life (due to traumatic brain injury, accident, stroke, disease or dementia), individuals with disabilities and special needs require specific planning.
Many persons with disabilities receive government benefits including Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to fund essential medical services and daily housing and care needs. These programs are income and/or asset sensitive. A Special Needs Trust (SNT or Supplemental Needs Trust) is used to allow the beneficiary to receive these critical government benefits while still receiving funds from the trust. These trusts can be provided for through your Will and established upon your death, or can be established today as a useful tool throughout your lifetime and provide management after your death. There are different types of Special Needs Trusts: First-Party, Third-Party, and Pooled Trusts.
To best understand what type of plan would work best for you and your loved one, schedule a consultation with one of the Herzog Law Firm’s Special Needs Planning team. It is especially important to alert grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles and other family members that may leave an inheritance to an individual with a disability or may want to help fund the trust. We also work with Personal Injury attorneys to help structure and place settlement money in trust.
Special Needs Planning is a holistic approach to the legal, financial and social planning necessary to:
- Maintain and protect assets of an individual with special needs
- Ensure that all appropriate government benefits are obtained and maintained
- Ensure there are legal, financial, and health decision makers in place now and in the future
- Grant the individual the opportunity to live a rich and fulfilling life, at his or her own level of success
- Provide protection for future special needs beneficiaries
We will assist you in:
- Guardianship Proceedings
- Setting up a Special Needs Trust
- Applying for Government programs
- Finding Services
- Establishing a Future Care Plan
- Adding language to safeguard future special needs beneficiaries
- Drafting qualified settlements for recipients of personal injury or class action settlements