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Special Needs Planning Attorney

Protecting Children, Dependents & Elders with Special Needs

Many general estate plans fail to take into account special needs planning. This is crucial, however, if your child, parent, or other loved one has special needs. Special needs planning protects assets for your loved one’s benefit without affecting his or her access to government benefits, such as Social Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Without proper planning, assets left to those with special needs may disqualify them for these and other benefits.

Kearney, McWilliams & Davis, PLLC can help you devise a solid special needs plan that protects your children, aging family members, and other loved ones. We provide productive and efficient legal services that are personalized to your situation. Our special needs planning lawyers have extensive experience in all aspects of estate planning and related matters.

Get in touch with our firm today to learn more about how we can help you. Contact us online or by phone at (713) 936-9620 to schedule a consultation.

What Is Special Needs Planning?

As mentioned above, special needs planning is a way to protect individuals with mental or physical disabilities from losing SSI or SSDI benefits while still retaining access to assets in an estate plan. It is also a way to ensure that assets are properly managed when the beneficiary is not able to manage them on his or her own. If your child has special needs, you will likely want to plan for the possibility that you may eventually no longer be able to care for him or her. This is also true for those who serve as caretakers for a special needs parent, family member, or loved one.

Our firm can assist you with various aspects of special needs planning, including but not limited to:

  • Creating special needs trusts
  • Creating supplemental needs trusts
  • Drafting durable powers of attorney
  • Establishing revocable living trusts

While some parents and caretakers decide to leave nothing to the special needs children or family members in their care, assuming that government benefits will be enough to cover expenses, this is not a wise choice. Typically, government benefits only cover the minimum, such as food and housing, leaving the special needs individual without the resources he or she needs to live a full life.

Special Needs Trusts

Special needs trusts are designed to allow parents and caretakers to leave assets to individuals with special needs while also maintaining their eligibility for government benefits. There are certain requirements with special needs trusts, namely that the assets in question will supplement the disabled individual’s needs, rather than replace government benefits entirely.

Special needs trusts can be used to help an individual with a disability:

  • Receive medical care, including annual physicals
  • Obtain educational services, such as tutoring
  • Attend school, church, and other activities
  • Pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses, such as dentistry
  • Receive transportation and/or maintain a vehicle
  • Go on vacation, purchase supplies for a hobby, and other life-quality enhancing expenses
  • Adhere to special dietary guidelines
  • Gain access to in-home care or a personal care aide

This list is not comprehensive; a special needs trust can be used to supplement many activities or items that provide the trustee with a better quality of life. Our special needs planning attorneys can help you find a personalized solution that fits your unique needs.

Reach out to KMD today to discuss your situation with a member of our legal team. Call us at (713) 936-9620 or fill out an online contact form to get started.

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