Special Needs Planning
When you have a relative or friend who has special needs, you may be in a position where you provide financial support and care to your loved one. If you wish to continue to provide support and enrich your relative’s quality of life after you have passed away, it is important to create a plan now.
Special needs planning involves making sure that you can provide money or assets to a person with a disability without jeopardizing access to government benefits. You also need to take care to ensure that the money and property are managed correctly for the benefit of your friend or relative. Vermillion Law Firm, LLC can offer you the guidance and advice you need to create a comprehensive plan for caring for your loved one with a disability. Give us a call so we can begin creating your plan and so you can get answers to questions including:
- Why is special needs planning necessary?
- What is involved in special needs planning?
- How can a Dallas, TX special needs planning lawyer help you?
Why is Special Needs Planning Necessary?
Special needs planning becomes necessary when you want to make a gift to a person with a disability during your lifetime or when you want to leave an inheritance to that person. In situations where someone who has special needs receives a personal injury judgment, special needs planning may also become necessary. One of the most important reasons for creating a plan for the management of money and property given to a person with a disability is to make sure that access to means-tested government benefits remains available.
People who have special needs are often eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and for Medicaid benefits. These benefits can provide payment for medical services, payments for nursing home or group home care, and money to live on. However, inheriting or acquiring money and property can result in loss of eligibility. When special needs planning occurs and the money and property is put into a specific kind of trust, this loss of benefits does not occur.
The other primary reason special needs planning is necessary is to ensure money and property are managed properly. Often, a person with a disability is not capable of making investments, monitoring spending, and effectively managing funds and property. You want to ensure that the money available to the individual grows and that smart financial choices are made regarding spending.
With special needs planning, you name a trustee to take control of managing the assets. The trustee has a fiduciary duty to act for the beneficiary, and you can provide specific instructions for how money should be spent to enrich the life of the individual with a disability.
What is Involved in Special Needs Planning?
Special needs planning generally begins with defining your goals for your disabled loved one, determining the amount of money or property necessary to achieve those goals, and creating a trust to transfer the funds into. There are strict rules regarding what type of trust must be created so the money within the trust does not count in determining eligibility for government benefits, so it is important to work with a Dallas, TX special needs planning lawyer so no mistakes are made.
Your attorney can also assist you in establishing trust requirements, in choosing a trustee who will be in charge of trust management, and in the actual process of transferring assets to the trust. Vermillion Law Firm, LLC has assisted many clients throughout Texas in ensuring they have made the most informed choices possible throughout the process of giving a gift to a loved one with a disability.
There may also be other important issues to address besides providing funds to your loved one, such as making provisions for how they will be cared for after your death if you have physically been providing assistance. We can help you to explore options available so you can arrange a good living situation for your loved one after you are gone.
How Can a Special Needs Planning Lawyer Help You?
Every person’s situation is different and the plan you create will be based on the needs of the individual with a disability who is your care, the assets available, and your goals for the future. At Vermillion Law Firm, LLC, we provide personalized and knowledgeable guidance as you create a plan. We are passionate about helping people to ensure the best possible quality of life for a friend or relative with special needs, so give us a call today at (972) 366-7201 so we can get started on your plan.
John R. Vermillion is also licensed in Tennessee and Oklahoma