When you have a person in your life who you care about who has a serious disabling condition, naturally it is a priority to make sure this person is cared for. Unfortunately, if you do not follow the right legal processes and make use of the right legal tools under NY law, you could actually end up doing more harm than good by making a financial gift to the person with special needs.
The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. can provide you with assistance in making sure the steps you take to provide for a loved one with a disability are the right legal steps. We not only assist parents in making sure their children with disabilities are cared for, but we also help anyone who wants to make a financial contribution to the care of a person with special needs.
If you live in the Finger Lakes, Rochester, Naples and surrounding areas, give us a call as soon as possible at (585) 546-1734 to find out about the personalized estate planning assistance we can offer. You can also get answers to questions including:
- Why is special needs planning important?
- What should be involved in special needs planning?
- How can a Finger Lakes special needs planning lawyer help?
Why is Special Needs Planning Important?
When a person has a significant disability, that individual may not be able to care for himself or herself and may require a guardian as well as custodial care. A person with a disability may not be able to manage money or property on his own. An individual with a disability may also not be able to work and may receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as well as coverage for their medical needs through Medicaid.
Special needs planning is important in order to address all of these issues when someone has a disability and you want to provide for and protect that individual. If you are a parent or a guardian, you need to make sure your loved one with a disability will have a home and a responsible guardian when the parents pass away.
If you are making any financial gift or helping a person with a disability manage his or her money, you need to make sure you preserve access to SSI and Medicaid, as both of these benefits programs are means-tested. You also need to make sure a gift of money and property is managed in a safe and appropriate manner so the assets do not lose their value and so they can be used to provide for the person with the disabling condition.
Accomplishing all of these goals is why special needs planning is so important. The Law Offices of Michael Robinson, P.C can help you to make use of the legal tools that will allow you to provide for and protect the people with disabilities who are a part of your life.
What Should be Involved in Special Needs Planning?
Addressing guardianship issues and making sure a person with disabilities always has a home are the two most important special needs planning steps which parents or guardians need to take. Parents and caregivers should make provisions for who will assume guardianship, should provide instructions, and should determine where their loved one with disabilities is going to live. Many parents also make the decision to purchase a life insurance policy to provide financially for a child with disabilities over the course of that child’s life after the parents have passed away.
When it comes to preserving access to means-tested benefits and providing financially for a person with special needs, a special needs trust is usually the best approach. Creating this type of trust allows you to ensure that a gift of financial resources doesn’t cause a loss of access to benefits and to ensure the money is appropriately managed. An experienced Finger Lakes special needs planning lawyer can explain first and third party special needs trusts and can help you to determine which options are best for you.
How can a Finger Lakes Special Needs Planning Lawyer Help?
The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. provides comprehensive assistance with special needs planning to clients in the Finger Lakes, Rochester, Naples and surrounding areas. We can provide you with help determining if you need special needs planning and assist in taking the necessary legal steps to protect your loved one with a disability. Give us a call now at (585) 546-1734 to learn more about how we can help you.