If you are a parent with a disabled child living in Caro and surrounding areas, special needs planning may be of the utmost importance. Making a special needs plan will allow you to ensure that your child is protected and cared for, even if you are no longer here to care for the child yourself. You should talk with Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle if your child is disabled so you can find out what type of planning you need to do and what legal tools you can make use of to protect and provide for your child.
When Should Parents Get Help With Special Needs Planning?
Parents need to get help with making a special needs plan in a wide variety of different situations. The level of help and the type of help that parents are going to need will vary depending upon factors including how severely disabled their child is.
If you are a parent who is providing care to a disabled child who cannot live independently, you will need to make sure you have a plan for who will take guardianship of your child if something happens to you. Even if your child lives in an institutional environment or if your child lives in a group home, you should select a guardian who you trust who can make decisions on your child’s behalf if your son or daughter is not able to make such decisions on his own and if you are no longer there to make those decisions on your child’s behalf.
If you are concerned about providing financially for a disabled child, you will also need to make a special needs plan. There are a number of issues that arise when making plans to provide financial support for a child with a serious disability. One issue is that you may be concerned about having enough money to provide for the child during his or her lifetime. Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle can help you to determine if life insurance is an appropriate purchase to solve this problem and can assist you in buying a policy that will actually provide the necessary support for your child.
Another big issue is that your disabled child may not be able to directly manage money provided to him or her through an inheritance or from a life insurance policy. A child with a disability may have limited or no awareness of what is involved in the day-to-day realities of managing investments and of being responsible with funds. Because you don’t want an inheritance to be lost or misused, you need to make a plan for ensuring that someone responsible will manage the money and use it on your child’s behalf. A trust is a legal tool that you can use to name someone (a trustee) who will manage trust assets on behalf of the beneficiary (your disabled child).
You may have another issue to deal with when you have a disabled child as well: your child may be receiving means-tested benefits like Medicaid. If your child is receiving Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, or other government benefits that are available to people with limited financial resources, simply giving an inheritance to your child could be problematic. The inheritance could cause your child to lose access to benefits once inherited assets are transferred to him and he or she becomes the owner of too many resources to continue qualifying for means-tested benefits.
This problem can be resolved through the creation of a special needs plan, which will typically include a special needs trust. A special needs trust can solve both the problems of protecting access to important means-tested benefits while also designating a responsible trustee who will have a duty to use the money that is held within the trust to meet the supplemental needs of your disabled child that government programs such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income do not cover.
Getting Help from A Caro Special Needs Planning Attorney
Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle can provide help to parents in Caro and surrounding areas with creating a special needs plan for their child. We provide comprehensive advice on providing for a child with a disability and we are committed to working with parents to make a plan that provides the level of support that their child with a disability requires. To find out more about the ways in which our legal team can provide assistance with the special needs planning process, give us a call at (989) 872-5601 or contact us online today.