Special Needs Planning
Special Needs Planning is a diverse area of practice that focuses on providing for and improving the quality of life of individuals with special needs while also protecting their eligibility for state and federal benefits.
When to start
The earlier you start planning for assistance for special needs, the more options you will have to accomplish your goals. Families with a minor child with special needs should contact us four to six months before the child’s 18th birthday.
Where to begin
If you or someone you know cares for an individual with special needs, we can provide assistance with estate planning that can preserve eligibility for public assistance benefits and protect personal injury awards or inheritances for the individual so that they may enjoy a better quality of life. Just call to schedule a complimentary (for new clients) consultation with one our attorneys today.
What to bring
If you are coming in to talk about special needs planning, then you should bring:
- Any current Estate Planning Documents, such as Trusts, Wills, Powers of Attorney
- List of Assets including value, ownership and beneficiary information
- Copies of All Real Estate Deeds
- Medical Diagnosis
- Any Information Received Concerning Eligibility for Benefits or Programs
If you are coming in to talk about preserving funds received either as a result of a personal injury award or an inheritance, we will also need additional information about the proposed award or inheritance and may need to speak with the personal injury or estate attorney. In these cases, getting us involved earlier rather than later is usually best.
What to expect
You will meet with one of our attorneys who will review the individual’s situation, discuss your goals and expectations in regards to the care and quality of life of the individual, and educate you on the options available to accomplish those goals. Often this first meeting is an opportunity to learn more, ask questions and identify the decisions that will need to be made. Additional conferences can be scheduled as needed so that clients feel comfortable that they understand their choices and how best to resolve the issues.
We don’t stop there
While many firms provide documents such as special need trusts, we believe it is just as important to help clients complete their planning by educating clients on allowable disbursements from special needs trusts, assisting with funding of trusts, changing beneficiary designations, filing fiduciary tax returns and transferring real estate. We also provide administration services so when the time comes to implement your plan, we will be available to assist your designated representatives in carrying out your wishes.