While estate planning is essential for everyone regardless of financial status or family dynamics, it takes on more considerable significance when you have children with special needs. Taking care of children with special needs can be overwhelming for caregivers. From obtaining the right therapies and services to finding schools with special needs programs, children, and even adults with special needs face additional steps at every stage in life. Some may never be able to work, meaning they would experience untold emotional and financial hardship if the primary caregiver could no longer care for them. No matter your current financial status or stage in life, the reality is that life is unpredictable, and something could happen to you, leaving you and your children with special needs at dire risk. It could be sudden death or a life-altering illness or a severe injury that may impair your ability to care for yourself and your loved ones. That is why it’s in your best interest to create a comprehensive plan to ensure your child with special needs will be well taken care of when you’re no longer able to care for them. While estate planning for a family with special needs may seem expensive up front, it will save a lot of money in the long run. It also gives you peace of mind knowing that your children will be taken care of in a manner that you approve when you are no longer able to serve as the primary caregiver. Fortunately, a skilled estate planning attorney can help. A Lansing special needs planning lawyer could walk you through the complex process to give you future peace of mind.
Estate planning for a family with special needs comes with added complexity. Usually, families with children with special needs are overwhelmed by special needs estate planning because they may not know what type of care the children will need in the future or the government benefits they will be eligible for when they turn 18. For these reasons, families need to engage an experienced special needs planning attorney in Lansing. A professional local attorney is well equipped to handle the complex set of medical, financial, and social issues associated with this form of planning and can tailor a plan to your child. Given the complexity that comes with estate planning for children with special needs, you don’t want to make blunders that will deny your child the right to live a rich quality of life and jeopardize their eligibility for government benefits. Leydorf Law Firm, PLLC offers a variety of planning tools designed to accommodate the unique circumstances of every client.
One of the most challenging decisions you have to make when creating an estate plan for your child with special needs is choosing a trustee to look after your child in the event of your death or incapacity. You’ll need to appoint a loyal and competent trustee who can manage your estate prudently for the benefit of your child. An attorney familiar with special needs planning in Lansing can help you in finding a trustworthy trustee. Leydorf Law Firm, PLLC can also help you in finding residential opportunities for your child so that they can live a comfortable life.
The primary reason why families need to create an estate plan is to ensure the beneficiaries receive the proper care when the primary caregiver is no longer able to provide that care themselves. However, government assistance programs have limits as to the assets a child with special needs can have before being declared ineligible for Medicaid and Supplemental Social Security Income (SSSI). Therefore, parents need to come up with a strategy that does not affect the child’s eligibility for receiving benefits. This is where a special needs trust comes in. With a special needs trust, inheritance does not go to the beneficiary’s name, but to a trust operating for the benefit of that child. By using a special needs trust as part of an estate plan, beneficiaries can receive inheritances, gifts, or other funds, while also maintaining the beneficiary’s eligibility for government assistance programs. A special needs trust is drafted in a manner that it will be treated as an entity separate from the person with special needs. Creating a special needs trust in a way that it doesn’t disqualify a beneficiary from government assistance programs requires unique approaches. As a result, it’s vital to work with a professional special needs estate planning in Michigan to protect your child in the event of death or incapacity. The government allows assets to be held in a third-party special needs trust to provide supplemental financial resources for the beneficiary. This trust holds any assets belonging to the caregiver, family member, or other individuals, including stocks, bonds, houses, and other investments.
Creating an estate plan for children with special needs requires more than document drafting skills. It requires a legal expert with a good understanding of the confusing rules of government benefits eligibility. Moreover, laws governing public benefits for children with special needs as well as the requirements for children with special needs change dramatically over time.
If you’re a parent, or caregiver of a child with autism, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, or any special needs, it’s essential to work with a special needs attorney who can tailor a special needs trust that suits your child’s unique situation. To ensure that you have a comprehensive estate plan for your children with any special needs, contact Leydorf Law Firm, PLLC. A Lansing special needs attorney can help ensure that the assets you leave behind for your child will be used for their care and maintenance without jeopardizing eligibility for much needed governmental assistance programs.
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