Why is Special Needs Planning important?

Planning today and for the future can ensure the highest quality of life for your family member with special needs. The Special Needs Planning Attorneys in Portland at Nay & Friedenberg LLC use their knowledge of the many public benefits programs in developing special needs plans that will allow the family member to qualify for benefits and still have resources to provide quality of life and peace of mind.

Special needs trusts are a vital part of the planning. Such trusts fulfill three primary functions:

  1. To manage funds for a beneficiary who may not be able to do so himself due to a disability.
  2. To preserve the beneficiary’s eligibility for public benefits, whether they be SSI, Medicaid, public housing, or any other program.
  3. To provide a source of funds that can be used for quality of life expenditures for the beneficiary that are not provided by public benefits.

Sometimes the special needs person is an adult and the resources to be protected are his own, maybe received from an inheritance or a lawsuit. The trust established in this instance would allow the person to continue receiving benefits and preserve the trust funds for his special needs.

It is more beneficial to the entire family, if parents, spouses, and other family members set up their own estate planning so that the disabled beneficiary does not receive an inheritance outright. Rather, the inheritance should be directed to a special needs trust for the disabled beneficiary to be established through the parent’s, spouse’s or other family member’s own estate planning.

Incorporating special needs planning into their own estate planning is especially important for parents who have children with special needs. The attorneys at Nay & Friedenberg LLC can help families with special needs answer the following questions:

  • How can I leave funds for the benefit of the child without causing the child to lose important public benefits?
  • How can I make sure that the funds are well managed?
  • How can I make sure that my other children are not over-burdened with caring for the sibling with special needs?
  • What is fair in terms of distributing my estate between my child with special needs and my other children?
  • How can I make sure there is enough money to sustain my special needs child over time?
  • Will the trust need ongoing administration?

Contact us for more information.

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— Carol S.