A person who is disabled often depends upon both government programs and family support to have the best quality of life. Unfortunately, well-meaning family members can sometimes put government benefits at risk when trying to make a financial contribution for the care of a loved one with disabilities.
If you are a parent, guardian, relative or friend of someone who is disabled and you want help making sure your loved one is financially secure, Hedeker Law can assist you. We provide advice on all aspects of providing for, and caring for, someone who has special needs.
Clients throughout Lincolnshire and surrounding areas in Chicago have turned to us for help with special needs planning because of our caring advocacy, and we can bring our considerable legal experience to your case. Give us a call at 847-913-5415 today to get details on how we can assist in your situation and to get answers to important questions including:
- Why is special needs planning important?
- What is involved in special needs planning?
- How can a Lincolnshire special needs planning lawyer help?
Why is Special Needs Planning Important?
Special needs planning is important because it helps parents, caregivers, friends, and relatives provide support to someone who is disabled. This support is sometimes financial and it is sometimes much more. Whatever form it takes, the help that is offered should not hinder the person who is disabled in any way through efforts to aid. Those who are making plans to give a gift or ensure the future care of someone who is disabled should get the proper legal advice so they can make informed decisions.
Many disabled people receive supplemental security income (SSI) benefits, and many get their medical care expenditures covered through Medicaid. If someone has a serious disabling condition and cannot work, then SSI may be the only available source of income and Medicaid may be the only insurer that can or will provide coverage.
Both of these programs, however, have resource limits for the amount of assets that someone can own and still get covered. This means a well-meaning financial gift could cause a loss of access to benefits worth thousands or even millions over a lifetime of costly medical interventions. Special needs planning involves making sure that a gift which will be provided is structured in such a way that no access to benefits is jeopardized
The use of special needs trusts not only provides protection for assets and benefits during the life of the person with disabilities, but can also put the trust assets outside of the reach of the Medicaid estate recovery process. The Medicaid estate recovery process occurs when the state (which has paid out Medicaid benefits) comes after the estate of the deceased to recoup the money spent.
If a third party special needs trust had been created and was funded entirely with assets that do not belong to the deceased, then those assets will not be collectible in Medicaid estate recovery. Upon the death of the person with the disability, any assets remaining in the trust will go to another beneficiary the trust creator specified.
It is also important to think about where a person with special needs will live if his primary caregivers pass away. For parents and guardian, this is often the major concern with special needs planning, as you need to ensure that a safe home environment is provided. You can do research into residential facilities where your loved one with a disability may be able to live, or can work to find a family member or friend who could be a trusted guardian.
What is Involved in Special Needs Planning?
The special needs planning process can vary depending upon whether you’re a guardian trying to make sure someone with disabilities has a home after you can no longer provide one, or whether you are simply a friend or relative trying to make a monetary contribution. Hedeker Law can help you to determine how you can use trusts, guardianship provisions, and other legal tools to fulfill your desired purpose in helping someone in your life with disabilities.
How can a Lincolnshire Special Needs Planning Lawyer Help?
Throughout Lincolnshire, Illinois, and the surrounding Chicago area, many clients have turned to Hedeker Law for help with special needs planning. We understand the different steps that are involved in making sure that someone you love with a disability is always kept safe and has the highest possible quality of life.
We will approach your case with dedication and compassion to help you find the right estate planning and special needs planning tools. Give us a call at 847-913-5415 or contact us online today to find out more about the ways in which our legal team can help you care for the person in your life who has special needs.