If you have a person in your life who has a disability, your plans for the future must include making sure your loved one is cared for. Unfortunately, many people make mistakes when they make a well-meaning attempt to provide for a loved one with special needs. The actions that you take could impact a disabled person’s access to important benefits, so it is vitally important that you work with a special needs planning lawyer if you have a loved one in your life with a disabling condition.
Anderson, Dorn & Rader, Ltd. can provide comprehensive assistance with special needs planning. Our legal team helps parents with special needs children and other friends and relatives of individuals with disabilities. Give us a call at 775-823-9455 to talk with a Reno special needs planning lawyer about the services we can provide to you and to get answers to questions you have about special needs planning including:
Why is Special Needs Planning Important?
Special needs planning is important to ensure that you can help a relative or friend with a disability to have the highest possible quality of life. For parents of a disabled child, this can mean making sure that a child is cared for and has a loving place to live after parents are no longer alive to provide a home. For parents, relatives, and friends, it can mean providing a financial gift to someone with a disability so that person can have a better standard of living.
Because people with disabilities often rely heavily on government programs such as Supplemental Security Income to provide income or Medicaid to pay for costs of care, you cannot just give a financial gift to a person with special needs. If you make a gift during your lifetime or leave money in your will to a disabled person, you could cause a loss of access to means-tested benefits. Both SSI and Medicaid limit the amount of resources a person can have and still qualify for coverage, and the loss of these benefits could be devastating to someone with a disability.
There are ways you can ensure that a gift does not result in a loss of benefits, and there are steps you can take to ensure your disabled child, relative, or friend is provided for after you are gone. Anderson, Dorn & Rader, Ltd. can help you to explore the legal tools you need to use to make a smart special needs plan.
What is Involved in Special Needs Planning?
In most cases, special needs planning involves the creation of a specific type of trust. A special needs trust is designed to allow a disabled person to receive a financial gift to enhance quality of life, without causing a loss of benefits.
Anderson, Dorn & Rader, Ltd. can help you to create and fund this trust, which can be used to provide for extras that Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, and other government programs will not cover. We also provide assistance to trustees who have been placed in charge of managing a special needs trust and who want to make sure they comply with the rules so they don’t put benefits in jeopardy.
Our Reno special needs planning lawyers can also provide help to parents in making arrangements for a disabled child to have a safe living situation and a loving guardian after the parents pass away.
Whatever your goals are for the person in your life who has special needs, we can help you to identify the types of legal tools that can allow you to achieve those plans.
How can a Special Needs Planning Lawyer Help You?
Ensuring that a disabled loved one is cared for and has the highest possible quality of life is a noble goal. You do not want your efforts to improve life for someone with special needs to actually cause a loss of benefits or other problems. You need to make sure your gifts you give and efforts you make to help have a beneficial impact now and in the future. Anderson, Dorn & Rader, Ltd. can help you.
To find out about the personalized assistance our legal team can provide with the special needs planning process, give us a call at 775-823-9455 or contact us online today. An experienced and compassionate Reno special needs planning lawyer will offer the type of personalized solutions you and your family need to ensure that a disabled person is always cared for no mater what the future brings.
An important aspect of estate planning considers the needs of beneficiares and how best to meet those needs. If you have a beneficiary with a disability it is crtitical to understand the public benefits that they are receiving, or may be eligible to receive, and how a distribution from your estate may affect those benefits. An outright distribution from your estate to such a beneficiary could disqualify him or her for public benefits, including medical benefits, which could be devastating. Medicaid benefits can provide for very costly long-term medical care and they're only available to those who do not have the resources to pay for them out of pocket.
A third-party special needs trust will provide for the special needs of a disabled beneficiary while preserving eligibility for public benefits, including Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income. The language of a Special Needs Trust must be extremely precise so as not to make the assets in the trust directly available to the beneficiary. Generally, the trust resources can only be used for what are considered to be "supplemental needs" under Medicaid rules. A third-party special needs trust may be revocable and you can include a secondary beneficiary to receive distribution of the remaining assets after the primary beneficiary passes away.
By creating a Special Needs Trust for your disabled beneficiary you can ensure that he or she receives all the benefits of your estate without jeopardizing his or her eligibtility for public benefits. Special-needs planning is a very sensitive matter that requires the highly technical expertise of an estate planning attorney knowledgeable in the complex area of disability planning.