If someone in your life has special needs, you know that a little extra care often needs to be taken to ensure that the person you love is always protected and provided for. Your desire to provide for your loved one with a disability does not end when you pass away, but it does become more complicated to care for a person with special needs after you are gone.
Whether you are a parent, guardian, relative, or friend of a person with a disability, you need to make smart and informed choices about how you can enrich the life of your loved one. You also need to be aware of common mistakes that could adversely affect your loved one’s right to government benefits.
The Utah special needs planning attorneys at Pearson Butler provide invaluable advice and assistance in protecting and providing persons with disabilities. Call (800) 265-2314 today to learn more.
The Importance of Special Needs Planning
Anyone who cares for a person with a disabling condition can benefit from special needs planning. Likewise, any person who wishes to make a financial gift to a person with special needs should seek professional help before proceeding. This is true whether you are going to give money to a person with a disability during your lifetime or want to leave that person money in your will. Finally, if a person in your life with special needs is acquiring assets, you need to talk with a lawyer about special needs planning so you can help ensure the money is used to enrich their life.
Special needs planning should be done as soon as you become responsible for the day-to-day care of some who is disabled. Something could happen to you at any time, and your loved one could be left vulnerable if you have not made provisions for where he or she will live and who will provide care.
Special needs planning also needs to be done before giving money or assets, because transferring resources could result in the loss of important government benefits.
Many people with special needs receive Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, and other government benefits for the needy. Since there are resource limits for these benefit programs, an inheritance or gift could result in loss of access to benefits. With special needs planning, you can help to make certain that does not happen, and you also get the additional benefit of making sure the financial assets you are giving are managed appropriately to provide for the person with special needs.
What Are the Steps in Special Needs Planning?
The steps of special needs planning differ depending upon whether you are ensuring care for a disabled person or are making sure an influx of money or resources is used wisely and doesn’t cause a loss of access to benefits.
Some of the steps involved with special needs planning may include:
- Naming a backup guardian for someone who has special needs if you can no longer fulfill the guardianship role.
- Finding a safe residential environment for a person with special needs to live in, if the person can no longer live in your home.
- Purchasing life insurance to make certain that a person with special needs will always have financial resources.
- Creating a first- or third-party special needs trust so the money you give, or the money acquired by the person with the disability, does not cause a loss of access to government benefits. The trust document also should name a trustee to manage the assets and should provide instructions for how the money will be used.
A special needs planning lawyer can help you to take all of these steps and can make use of any additional legal tools that are necessary to provide for someone with a disability.
Trusted Counsel from Experienced Attorneys
Pearson Butler provides special needs planning help to clients across Utah from offices conveniently located in American Fork, Bountiful, and South Jordan. The firm’s skilled team is committed to helping those who have loved ones with disabilities in their lives.
Find personalized solutions that are right for you and your loved one. For more information, call (800) 265-2314 or contact Pearson Butler online.