When someone you care about has special needs, it is up to you to make plans to provide for and protect your loved one in the future. Whether you are the parent of a special needs child or otherwise want to provide for a relative with disabilities, it is important to understand the laws that apply to providing an inheritance for a disabled loved one. Making mistakes in the special needs planning process could be costly, so you should get the proper legal help to make the plans that are right for your family.
Kuhn & Kuhn has provided assistance to many families with creating a comprehensive special needs plan. We understand the steps that you should take and the legal tools that you should use and we will work closely with you to make a plan that makes sense for you and your loved one with the disability. Give us a call today to find out about the assistance we can offer in making your special needs plan and to get answers to questions you have about the special needs planning process including:
- Why is it important to make a special needs plan?
- What should be part of your special needs plan?
- How can a special needs planning lawyer help?
Why is it Important to Make a Special Needs Plan?
If you are caring for a relative with special needs, it is up to you to make a plan for your loved one’s physical care if something happens to you. This can be especially important for parents of disabled children who are likely to outlive them. You should consider whether your disabled loved one can live with another relative, such as a sibling, or whether you will need to make arrangement for your disabled relative to get care in an institutional setting.
Caring for someone with disabilities can often be expensive, and institutional care facilities that are high quality come with big price tags. You may need to make plans to ensure you have a sufficiently large inheritance to provide for your disabled loved one. This could mean purchasing a life insurance policy to provide funds for your disabled relative’s care after you pass on.
When you do pass on, leaving an inheritance to a disabled loved one is challenging. Not only is it likely that the disabled person will be unable to manage the money on his or her own, but you could also cause a loss of access to important means-tested benefits like Medicaid if you leave an inheritance directly to someone who is disabled.
These are all issues that an experienced attorney can help you to address when you make a special needs plan. Kuhn & Kuhn can work with you to identify the needs of your disabled loved one and to use the right tools to make a special needs plan that provides the necessary protection for your relative with a disability.
What Should Be Part of Your Special Needs Plan?
Your special needs plan needs to be tailored to your specific situation. Your plan could involve, for example, finding a care facility. Even if your disabled relative will be moving to an institutional setting, you should still name a guardian who can make decisions on your relative’s behalf and who can make sure that your relative is being appropriately cared for after you are gone.
You will also need to make a plan for how an inheritance will be provided and managed without causing a loss of access to benefits. The creation of a special needs trust is usually necessary to accomplish this goal. A special needs trust can allow you to name a trustee to manage money for your disabled loved one. Because the trust owns the assets, they won’t be disqualifying for purposes of Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, or other means-tested benefits. You can also provide specific instructions in your trust document for how the assets in the trust are to be used to enhance quality of life for your disabled loved one.
How can a Special Needs Planning Lawyer Help You?
Kuhn & Kuhn can help you to identify the different issues that you need to plan for when you have a relative who is disabled. A Charleston special needs planning lawyer at our firm can also work with you to put a plan in place by making effective use of tools to provide protection and support for your disabled relative. To learn more about how we can help you, give us a call at 843-577-3700 or contact us online today.