When someone in your life has special needs, it is up to you to help safeguard their future. Unfortunately, a well-meaning effort to provide financially for someone who is disabled could potentially cause a loss of access to vital means-tested government benefits. This is just one of many reasons why it is important to work with a special needs planning lawyer if you want to provide help and support to someone you care about who has a disability.
German Law has extensive experience with all aspects of special needs planning. Our legal team can guide you through the process of determining what plans you need to make and of making effective use of legal tools to provide the maximum in protection for your disabled loved one. Give us a call today to find out more about the personalized help that we can provide as you make a special needs plan and to get answers to questions you have about the special needs planning process including:
- Do I need to create a special needs plan?
- What should I include in my special needs plan?
- How can a special needs planning lawyer in Minnesota or North Dakota help me?
Do I Need to Create a Special Needs Plan?
If you have someone in your life with special needs, you may need to create a special needs plan. You should create this type of plan if you are responsible for the day-to-day care and/or the financial support of someone with a disabling condition.
If you do not make a plan but instead simply provide a financial gift, your well-meaning effort to enhance quality of life for the disabled person could trigger a loss of access to Medicaid coverage and a loss of access to Supplemental Security Income because both of these programs are means-tested.
Many people with disabilities rely upon Medicaid as their only source of medical care coverage and rely on Supplemental Security Income as their only monthly income. You do not want to be inadvertently responsible for causing these benefits to be ended. With a plan, they don’t have to be affected by a gift you provide.
If you are providing physical care for someone who is disabled, making a plan is also vital because something could happen to you at any time and leave you unable to provide care. You don’t want to leave the future of you disabled loved one uncertain because you did not make a plan for continued, safe care.
What should I Include in my Special Needs Plan?
When you make a special needs plan, the legal tools you will need to include in your plan will vary depending upon your responsibilities to your disabled loved one. If you are the caregiver and guardian for your child or relative with special needs, you will need to name someone who can act as guardian when you are gone and will need to make plans for where your disabled loved one will live and how he will be cared for.
If you are only providing a financial gift to enhance quality of life for someone you care about who is disabled, you will not need to worry about naming a guardian. But you will need to structure your gift to avoid a loss of access to benefits. While a special needs trust is usually the best tool to use, you should talk with an attorney about your options.
Creating a special needs trust will allow you to name someone to manage funds for a person whose disability may make money management impossible. It will also ensure your financial gift does not cause hardship though a loss of benefits access. You want to ensure you follow the proper protocols for creating a trust correctly to get these substantial benefits, and German Law can help you with this process.
How Can a Special Needs Planning Lawyer in North Dakota or Minnesota Help Me?
If you have someone you care about with special needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to German Law. Our legal team has helped many families in Minnesota and North Dakota to make the plans they need to achieve a more secure future for a loved one with disabilities. We will work with you to use the legal tools you need to make the right plan for your situation. Give us a call today to find out more about how we can help.