Q: What does a Special Needs Attorney do?
A: A special needs attorney is an advocate for individuals with disabilities and their loved ones.
Q: What makes a Special Needs Attorney unique?
A: Special needs attorneys understand the complex issues that people with disabilities face and can help them and their family build a life grounded in financial security, personal choice, and dignity. Special needs attorneys collaborate with other advocates and professionals to improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. They can offer advice and guidance to trustees, financial planners and personal injury attorneys who may be serving the individual and their family.
Q: How can a Special Needs Attorney help me?
- Discuss the importance of wills and estate planning, including planning for a minor or adult with special needs and appropriately integrating that plan with Special Needs Trust(s).
- Discuss the importance of creating advance directives and other long-term planning documents to balance an individual’s personal independence with protective oversight.
- Educate and advise on the availability and options concerning Special Needs Trusts and ABLE accounts.
- Provide help with benefits planning concerning eligibility and the application process.
- Provide help with protecting resources to enhance an individual’s quality of life without affecting eligibility for public benefits.
- Provide advice and help with Guardianship
- Assist with personal injury settlements and advise allocation of payments and integration with Special Needs Trusts.
Q: Why are Special Needs trusts important?
A: A special needs trust is an estate planning tool designed to hold funds for a disabled individual so as not to disqualify them for government benefits. Any assets that are held within a special needs trust are not considered when establishing Medicaid or other government benefit programs. They remain available to the individual to pay for services otherwise not covered and other items that enhance and improve life quality.
Special Needs Trusts vary and can include: First Party Special Needs Trusts, Third Party Special Needs Trusts and Pooled Special Needs Trusts. A special needs attorney can evaluate your family’s situation and circumstances and advise on choosing the appropriate trust, the appropriate trustee and proper administration of the Trust.