When you care about someone who has a disability, you need to make sure you make smart and informed choices about how to help. Many people give well-meaning financial gifts, but these gifts could actually result in a loss of important government benefits. Before you make provisions for a person with a disability in your will or before you give an inter vivos gift during your lifetime, you should speak with a legal professional about special needs planning.
There are other situations where talking with an attorney about special needs planning is important as well. If you are a parent or guardian of a person with a disability, you may wish to get legal help to ensure your child or ward is cared for in case something happens to you. If you are a friend or a relative of someone who has been injured and suffered a severe disability, you may want to provide help with protecting the money that could come from an injury settlement.
Whatever your personal situation, if you want help caring for a person in your life with special needs, call The Law Offices of James A. Miller, P.C. today at 866-417-4566. We provide comprehensive help with special needs planning to clients in Worcester, Burlington, and surrounding locations throughout Massachusetts. We can offer one-on-one advice specific to your situation, help you to create a plan, and provide answers to questions which may be on your mind including:
- Is special needs planning something that I need to consider
- What is involved in special needs planning?
- How can a Burlington special needs planning lawyer help?
Is Special Needs Planning Something That I need to Consider?
Special needs planning is something you need to consider if:
- You want to give money, property, or any assets to someone who is receiving means-tested government benefits such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income. Cash and its equivalents can be considered countable resources which make someone ineligible to receive government assistance. The money you give could be quickly spent on medical care if loss of access to Medicaid occurs because of the gift.
- You are the guardian or parent of someone with a disability who requires care. If you take care of a person with special needs who is physically or mentally unable to care for himself, you need to make certain that your child or ward is going to have someone to look out for him when you no longer can. Naming someone to take over as guardian or arranging for residential care in a group home are a few of several options.
- You want to provide help to someone with a disability in managing and protecting funds. If a person becomes disabled and cannot manage his own assets, you may need to get help with special needs planning to ensure that a trusted person can take care of investments. You may also want to provide help in structuring ownership of assets so the person with the disability can qualify for government programs like Medicaid.
These are a few of many situations when it becomes important to talk with a special needs planning lawyer in order to provide for and protect a person in your life who has a disability.
What is Involved in Special Needs Planning?
Special needs planning typically involves the creation of a first party special needs trust or a third party special needs trust. A third party special needs trust is appropriate if you are going to be using your assets to fund the trust. A first party special needs trust is used when someone who has a disability has assets to protect. The assets that are held within a first or third party special needs trust can be managed for the benefit of the disabled person and can be excluded from counting as a resource in determining eligibility for means-tested benefits.
There may be other steps to take as well, especially for parents or guardians. It is best to get help as soon as possible so you have the peace of mind of knowing there is a plan in place.
How can a Burlington Special Needs Planning Lawyer Help?
The Law Offices of James A. Miller, P.C. provides help with special needs planning to clients in Worcester, Burlington, and surrounding areas throughout Massachusetts. If you are ready to take smart steps to protect someone you care about who ha a disabling condition, give us a call today at 866-417-4566 or contact us online to get started.