Some loved ones require more attention and care because they are particularly vulnerable.
Whether it’s due to a physical or mental disability – or if you have a child who will not be completely independent as an adult, you will need to engage in special planning that will provide them with maximum protection.
At Morgan Law Group we are dedicated to ensuring your child with special needs will be well taken care of when you are no longer able to serve as their primary caregiver.
We offer a variety of estate planning tools and strategies designed to accommodate the unique circumstances presented by children with special needs and their families.
We are here to help.
Estate planning for a family with special needs children comes with a complex set of financial, social, and medical issues that some lawyers are ill-equipped to handle.
Using our experience and knowledge of the law we develop a comprehensive special needs estate plan that provides parents with the confidence that:
- Your child will always be in the care of people you want;
- Any money left behind will pass in a way that preserves your child’s eligibility for government benefits;
- A future transition will be as easy as possible for your loved ones, and they will have your trusted family attorney to turn to, should something unexpected happen to you;
- Your child will receive the best care possible for the rest of his or her life;
We will also review your plan periodically to take into account any changes in your financial, family or medical situation.
Future care planning is often a difficult step to take, but we walk you through it one step at a time, doing everything we can to make the process as easy as possible for you.
Special Needs Planning and Trusts
If you leave a large lump sum of money directly to a special needs child, there are concerns about how that might impact governmental assistance and whether your child is capable of managing finances on their own.
Fortunately, we have an estate planning tool called a “special needs trust” designed to provide supplemental financial resources for the physically, mentally, or developmentally disabled child without affecting their eligibility for public healthcare and income assistance benefits.
This said, the rules for such trusts are quite complicated.
For instance, funds from a special needs trust cannot be distributed directly to the disabled beneficiary and must be disbursed by a third party who is responsible for providing the goods and services your special needs child will need to maintain a comfortable lifestyle.
Special needs planning in highly technical and must be done with great care and precision. We help you understand the larger picture and how to structure your family trust and your child’s special needs trust. It’s important that all the various components of your plan work together seamlessly and are appropriate for your child’s specific situation.
Even once you have established a special needs trust, the care and attention we pay to your special needs child is not over. We know that your child’s financial and emotional requirements will change over time. And the laws governing public benefits change over time.
Consider Adult Conservatorship and Alternatives at Age 18
Should you petition for guardianship on behalf of your child or loved one with special needs?
What is Conservatorship?
Once your child turns 18, the law presumes your child is capable, even if they are not. Becoming your child’s guardian at age 18 allows you to continue to make personal and financial decisions on behalf of your child. If you do not become your child’s legal conservator, you will no longer have the legal authority to make these important decisions.
Obtaining conservatorship must be done through filing a petition with your local court.
Who Needs to Petition for Conservatorship?
If your child is unable to make informed decisions about their own care, you should consider petitioning for conservatorship of your child.
Alternatively, there are certain alternatives to Conservatorship that may be sufficient. If your child can make their own decisions, he or she might be able to sign appropriate legal documents that give you authority to make medical, legal and financial decisions on their behalf. Not all adult children with a disability need a conservator.
What Should You Expect If You Decide to Petition for Conservatorship?
If you would like the assistance of an attorney to determine whether a conservatorship is appropriate or with filing the legal documents, Contact Us or Book a Call to discuss your specific needs and next best step.