The importance of special needs planning cannot be understated when there is a person with a disability who will be coming into money or when there is a person with a disability who requires ongoing care. Parents, friends, and family members of someone with special needs must understand how to use the law to protect their friend or relative.
A Geneseo, IL special needs planning lawyer at Nash Bean Ford & Brown, LLP can provide invaluable help with protecting a person with a disabling condition. Whether the goal is to provide financially for the person with the disability; to ensure a person with a disability can protect his own assets; or to make sure daily care is provided for a person with a disability, we can help. Give us a call at 800-644-5345 to get personalized advice and to get questions answered including:
- When should special needs planning be considered?
- What does special needs planning involve?
- How can a Geneseo, IL Special Needs Planning Lawyer Help
When Should Special Needs Planning be Considered?
Special needs planning should be considered in two primary situations. The first is when a person with special needs must be provided with physical care because of an inability to manage routine daily tasks or life activities. This type of plan is usually created by a parent or other guardian in order to make sure the person with special needs will be in a safe environment and cared for by a trusted relative, friend, or professional when the current primary caregiver passes away.
Another type of special needs planning involves making financial provisions for a person with special needs. This is not as simple as just providing a financial gift, as there are different considerations with regards to providing financially for someone who cannot work or who has difficulty managing money due to a disabling condition.
One issue that comes from providing financially for a person with special needs is that the individual may be unable to manage the money or property on his own. Another issue is that a person with disabilities could become disqualified from Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and other important benefits as a result of receiving an influx of money. Means-tested government benefits take resources into account, and thus any large inheritance, inter vivos gift, or even payment of an injury settlement could cause significant financial damage.
Steps need to be taken to ensure that any money obtained by a person with special needs from any source is held in a special type of trust so that the money does not count for purposes of Medicaid eligibility. This is just one of the things that should be a part of the special needs planning process.
What Does Special Needs Planning Involve?
When you have a friend or a relative in your life who has special needs, it becomes important to create an appropriate plan which is personalized to that person’s situation. Your plan may include naming a guardian; securing life insurance for yourself so there is money to pay for residential care; or helping to ensure government benefits will provide for the cost of caregivers.
When it comes to providing financially for a person with a disability, you can explore first party special needs trusts to protect assets owned by the person with the disability, or third party special needs trusts if you plan to gift money or property to the person with the disability. Trusts can both shield assets from counting when it comes to means-tested benefits and can make it possible to name a trustee who manages assets.
When creating a special needs trust, all legal formalities must be followed. You must ensure a trustee is selected who will fulfill his fiduciary duty to use trusts assets to benefit the person with the disability. You may also wish to ensure that the trust document provides detailed instructions for the use of money so you have more control over what your gift provides.
How Can a Geneseo, IL Special Needs Planning Lawyer Help?
Whether you are worried about meeting the daily care needs of a person with a disability or whether your primary goal is financial protection, Nash Bean Ford & Brown, LLP is here and ready to help. Our Geneseo, IL special needs planning lawyers understand how the law works to protect people who are disabled and we will make sure that the available legal tools are put to work for you. Give us a call at 800-644-5345 or contact us online today to learn more about the assistance that we can offer.