Are you disabled or is there someone in your life who has special needs? Planning for the future for someone with a disability can be complicated because it is essential to consider and account for the unique financial and legal situation of the person with the disabling condition. It is especially important to understand the laws when leaving a financial gift to a person with special needs or when a person with special needs is coming into money or acquiring resources from any source.
Sinclair Prosser Gasior has extensive experience with special needs planning and can provide invaluable assistance to clients in Annapolis, Bowie, Millersville, Waldorf and surrounding areas in Maryland who want to care for someone with a disability. Whether you want to make sure someone you care about can be physically cared for when you are no longer around or you want to make special financial provisions for a person with a disability, we are here to help. Give us a call at 410-573-4818 or 301-970-8080 for personalized legal advice, or contact us to get questions answered including:
- Is special needs planning important in my situation?
- What is involved in special needs planning?
- How can an Maryland special needs planning lawyer help?
Is Special Needs Planning Important in My Situation?
Special needs planning is important if you are disabled, receiving government benefits, and are about to receive substantial money or property from an inheritance, personal injury settlement, or any other source.
Special needs planning is also important if you wish to provide a financial gift to a person who is disabled. Whether the gift is an inter vivos gift provided during your lifetime or a bequest which you are including in your will, you must make sure you structure the gift appropriately.
It is imperative to talk with a special needs planning lawyer in any situation where a person with a disability will receive money or property from any source. This is because the person with the disability may be depending upon Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for monthly income and may be depending upon Medicaid for medical care. Both of these programs are means-tested, and a loss of benefits is possible with an influx of assets.
Special needs planning is also important if you are providing physical care or financial assistance to a person who is disabled. You need to address what will happen if you are no longer around to provide that care. Your plan can specify who should serve as guardian and who should take over as a trustee of a trust which is used to benefit the person with the disability.
What is Involved in Special Needs Planning?
The specific process of special needs planning is going to vary depending upon who you are planning for, what types of steps you want to take to protect that person, and what your relationship is with the person who has the disabling condition.
For many parents of children with special needs, planning starts early and involves making sure there is enough money available to continue to provide for the child with the disability after the parents are gone. Parents may start saving early, or may purchase a large life insurance policy so the benefits can pay out upon their death and provide for their child with special needs.
Parents or other caregivers also need to name a guardian who is going to become responsible for caring for the person with special needs when the parent passes away or is otherwise unable to provide day-to-day care. Whether this involves choosing an assisted living environment, giving responsibility to a sibling, or naming a trusted friend as a guardian, the right legal tools need to be used.
Finally, for the financial protection of the deceased and to provide money and property without causing a loss of access to government benefits, special needs planning may involve the creation of a special needs trust. This is a specific kind of trust which prevents assets from causing disqualification for means-tested government benefits which the person with the disability may be counting on.
How Can a Maryland Special Needs Planning Lawyer Help?
Special needs planning is not something you should try on your own because of the very high stakes and significant financial consequences if any mistakes are made. Sinclair Prosser Gasior is ready to help clients in Annapolis, Bowie, Millersville, Waldorf and surrounding areas in Maryland. If you want to start today on making provisions to make sure the person in your life with disabilities is cared for, contact us online or give us a call at 410-573-4818 or 301-970-8080 today.