What is Special Needs Planning?
If you have a child with special needs, you understand how important planning is to stay on top of your child’s unique day-to-day needs. Providing for the long-term care of your special needs child is another issue altogether. What would happen to your child if you were not around to care for them? Special needs planning addresses this issue, and Attorneys for Special Needs Trusts Raleigh at NC Planning can help. The goal is to ensure your child can access government benefits while still allowing you to leave an inheritance for their benefit. These government benefits usually include SSI and Medicaid but can also include state-based programs like SNAP.
Parents, grandparents, or guardians of a disabled child will set up legal documents during special needs planning. These legal documents allow the care of the child to be legally transferred to another person or entity upon the death of the caretaker. Financial support and inheritance for the child are structured in a way that allows the child to continue accessing government benefits. Special needs planning can also include the development of a Care Plan for the special needs child. This Care Plan guides future caregivers on how to provide the care the child needs, including daily routines, medications, health information, and more.
Some parents may also choose to create an ABLE account for their child. ABLE accounts are tax-advantaged accounts allowing families to build up savings for the child while retaining the child’s government benefits eligibility. Any money taken from the account can be used for qualified expenses that include:
- Employment training
- Health care
- Personal support services
To qualify for special needs planning and government benefits, the individual must be disabled to the point where they cannot support themselves (if they are an adult). Attorneys for special needs in Raleigh can help you ensure eligibility for public benefits and medical care for your child is fully protected now and in the future.
When Should You Begin Special Needs Planning?
Thanks to advances in medical care, it is more and more common for disabled individuals to outlive their caregivers. If a plan is not in place when the disability, illness, or death of a caregiver occurs, the child may not be eligible for necessary benefits and there may be no one to care for the child.
Special needs planning should take place as soon as possible because it’s always better to be prepared for the unexpected rather than be left unprepared. NC Planning attorneys can help you make decisions for your child’s future that will ensure they remain well-cared for throughout their life. We will look at your unique circumstances, then build a plan that reflects those circumstances.
Attorneys for Special Needs Trusts Raleigh Helping Families Protect Their Loved Ones
Will your special needs child be protected when the unexpected happens? Special needs planning is a part of estate planning. While nobody looks forward to estate planning, you can rest easy once it’s done, knowing you have protected and provided care for your loved ones.
Estate planning is always complex, but this is especially true if you have a family member with special needs. Many disabled people rely on their loved ones for help on a regular basis. If you are a caregiver, it’s important to put an estate plan in place that ensures your loved ones with special needs are cared for after your death.
Special needs estate planning can also help in the event that you are unexpectedly disabled and unable to care for yourself or your loved ones. No one knows what the future holds, but the special needs planning attorneys at NC Planning can help you prepare for it. If you are ready to create an estate plan, contact our attorneys as soon as possible to discuss your unique situation.
Is Your Loved One with Special Needs Eligible for Government Benefits?
Your loved one with special needs may qualify for certain government benefits, including Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Medicaid provides health insurance benefits to disabled individuals who meet certain eligibility requirements. If your loved one qualifies for Medicaid, this program may cover the cost of medical care and other health-related expenses.
Your loved one may also qualify for SNAP, which are benefits that can be used to purchase specific food items in retail stores. Finally, many people with special needs qualify for SSI benefits, which are administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). These benefits are paid monthly to eligible disabled individuals.
How Can Creating a Special Needs and Supplemental Trust Benefit Your Loved Ones?
Your loved one may currently qualify for the government benefits mentioned above, but that could change if they receive an inheritance from you after your death. Medicaid, SNAP, and SSI are all needs-based programs. This means that disabled individuals will not qualify for these benefits unless they can prove that they have limited financial resources. If your loved one inherits cash or other assets from you, they may no longer qualify for these programs.
If your loved one has special needs, it’s important to put a plan in place that will provide for them without forcing them to sacrifice their government benefits. Attorneys for Special Needs Trusts Raleigh can help you achieve this goal. The person you appoint as trustee will be responsible for managing the trust and spending the money on behalf of your loved one with special needs. This ensures that your loved one with special needs will be provided for, but since the money is not technically in their name, the special needs trust will not affect their eligibility for government benefits. If your loved one has special needs, it’s imperative to create a special needs trust with the help of an attorney.
Why Is It Important to Name A Guardian in Your Estate Plan?
Another issue that should be addressed in your special needs estate plan is guardianship. If you have a minor child with special needs, it’s important to appoint a guardian in your estate plan. This person will be responsible for caring for your minor child in the event that you and your child’s other parent both pass away unexpectedly. If you fail to include this in your estate plan, the court will have the power to name a guardian for your child after your death. Don’t leave this important decision up to the court—create an estate plan that addresses this issue with the help of our attorneys.
How Do You Choose a Trustee for Your Special Needs Child?
The job of the Attorneys for Special Needs Trusts Raleigh is not to give money to the adult child whenever they want it, but rather to only give out money when it is to be used for services laid out in the trust. The trustee should be a person you trust implicitly to follow your wishes—someone who will always consider the best interests of the special needs individual. The trustee should know the needs of the special needs child as well as the laws that relate to special needs trusts. The trustee should also have a good understanding of how to budget, invest, and keep an accurate accounting of the trust funds.
In some cases, a professional may be chosen to administer the special needs trust. While this can increase annual fees, it can also ensure the funds are properly managed for the special needs individual. It can be a good idea to have a family member serve as co-trustee with a professional—so long as there is no disagreement regarding fund management. A sibling of the special needs individual could serve as a co-trustee if they can have a good working relationship with the professional trustee.
Do You Need Attorneys for Special Needs Trusts Raleigh?
A special needs planning attorney from NC Planning will work with families of children or adults with disabilities. Those with special needs often require unique, comprehensive support systems throughout their lives. Parents may feel overwhelmed when attempting to find information and resources. Our NC Planning team can guide you to solutions that fully address your priorities today while also keeping an eye on the future.
We will assess your family’s current circumstances, developing a clear plan to be implemented in the future. Our team will identify all government benefit opportunities. We will evaluate transition planning, guiding you through the process in the best way possible. Our goal is to create a path that provides the highest quality of life for your loved one through a Special Needs Plan. This plan will differ for each client because we consider:
- The current age of the special needs individual
- Whether an education plan needs to be put into place
- The support level required for the individual
- Family goals for future living arrangements for the special needs individual
- Eligibility for government benefits
- Parent/family support
The plan will also consider the age, health, retirement age, and finances of the parents, grandparents, or guardians of the special needs individual, contemplating how this could change in the future.
How NC Planning Will Help You Plan for the Road Ahead
At NC Planning, planning is what we are all about. Our goal is to build strong client relationships, discussing your goals with you until we fully understand them before we make recommendations. We believe in transparent communication, as well as comprehensive client care. As problem solvers, we always offer innovative, practical solutions, sound legal advice, and planning services that can help you plan for your future.
Everyone can benefit from Attorneys for Special Needs Trusts Raleigh, especially people who have loved ones with special needs. As a caretaker, you have a responsibility to put a plan in place that ensures your loved one with special needs is properly cared for in the event of your death or disability. You may think that you have plenty of time to put this type of plan in place, but the truth is that it’s never too early to start planning ahead. Don’t wait any longer—take the first step towards creating a plan by contacting our attorneys today.
Every special needs estate plan is different. Tell our attorneys more about your situation so we can create a plan that is customized to meet your unique needs. Give us a call at (919) 568-3681 to begin preparing for the unexpected before it’s too late. We have offices in Raleigh, NC, as well as Cary, NC for your convenience. Our team is ready to help you through any challenges you are facing that have to do with estate planning. We believe we can help you determine the best way to proceed regarding your special needs planning. Contact NC Planning today!