Special needs planning is not just for parents of children with disabilities. While parents and caregivers need to make sure their loved one will always be provided with a supportive home and stable environment, special needs planning can extend beyond these important steps. If you are planning to make a financial gift to a person with a disability either during your lifetime or after your death, you need to speak with an attorney before you take action.
Augulis Law Firm provides assistance to clients who care about someone with a disability. Our Warren, New Jersey special needs planning lawyers can provide you with insight into whether you need to take steps to protect your loved one and what those steps should be. Give us a call at (908) 222-8803 to find out more about how we can assist with your situation and to get answers to general questions including:
- When is special needs planning necessary?
- What is involved with special needs planning?
- How can a Warren, NJ special needs planning lawyer help?
When is Special Needs Planning Necessary?
The most important goal of special needs planning is to make sure physical care can be provided to someone who needs help with activities of daily living. Many people who have serious physical or mental disabilities are not able to live on their own. Their parents or other guardians must make provisions for who will care for them. This should be done as soon as possible by a parent or a guardian who is responsible for caring for someone with a disability. You never want the person who you are responsible for to end up in a bad situation because there is no plan in place when something happens to a caregiver.
While special needs planning is vital to provide care for someone with a disability, it is also very important to create a plan when giving a financial gift to someone who is disabled. It is very common for people with serious physical or mental disabilities to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and to get their medical expenditures covered by Medicaid. Both Medicaid and SSI are means tested, which means the government provides these benefits to people with limited income and few resources. An influx of money or property from any source, including a personal injury settlement, inter vivos gift (gift given during someone’s life), or an inheritance can result in a loss of benefits.
If you plan to provide financially for anyone with a disability, you do not want to be responsible for that person losing access to medical care or to monthly income. As a result, you need to talk with a special needs planning lawyer and make a plan so this does not happen. The plan you make should not only protect access to benefits, but should also ensure that the money can be appropriately managed and used to enrich the recipient’s quality of life.
What is Involved with Special Needs Planning?
The special needs planning process must be tailored to the type of assistance you wish to provide to a person with a disability as well as based on your relationship with the person who has special needs. Some of the different steps which may be involved in special needs planning include:
- Creating a trust to protect access to government benefits and to ensure money is managed.
- Finding a suitable living environment for a person with a disability upon the death of a caregiver.
- Naming someone to assume the role of guardian upon the death of a caregiver.
- Purchasing insurance to make certain there is enough money to provide for a person with a disability after a caregiver has passed away.
These are just a few of the many different things which could be steps in the estate planning process. An attorney can help you to understand the specific steps which are right for you.
How can a Warren, NJ Special Needs Planning Lawyer Help?
Augulis Law Firm is committed to helping anyone who cares about a person with special needs. Whether your goal is to ensure a loved one is cared for or your goal is to provide financial protection, we will help you to find the right legal tools to fulfill your plans. We believe firmly that every person with disabilities deserves the full support their loved ones can offer, so we are committed to making comprehensive special needs plans that make financial gifts and personal stability possible. Give us a call at (908) 222-8803 or contact us online to find out more.