Special Needs Benefits, Estate and Asset Planning
As a mother with children who have special needs, Heidi Friedman knows the emotional struggles many families face, as well as, the economic decisions that need to be made to ensure children and adults with special needs receive all they require and deserve. Individuals with Special Needs are eligible for certain government benefits, such as SSI, SSDI, Medicaid and Medicare to assist them with housing costs, food costs, and health insurance. However, there are several hurdles to overcome to ensure that an individual with special needs not only becomes eligible for these programs, but remains eligible throughout his or her lifetime. What parents do not want to do is inadvertently jeopardize their children’s government benefits because of an inheritance, however, we also do not want to leave any of our children completely out of our estate plans. Parents of these special children know that we must continue to care for them, even after we are gone. That is why it is so important to properly plan with an attorney who knows how to handle special needs situations, through both professional and personal experience. Our goal with Special Needs Planning is to maximize and supplement (not supplant) government resources your child is or may be entitled to receive, and protect those benefits during his or her lifetime.
When children reach the age of 18, they are viewed as adults in the eyes of the law, whether the child has special needs or not. Parents will no longer be able to make financial decisions or even health care decisions for their child even if that child is not mentally or physically able to act as an adult. Knowing what can be done when your child turns 18 years old to allow you to continue to protect and care for him or her is imperative. Many believe guardianship is the only way, but is it? There are several avenues that can be taken to provide your child the protection required depending on your child’s abilities. Don’t walk through this process alone. Let us help you protect you and your child with special needs, now and after you are gone.
If you want more information on how we can guide you through these hurdles, contact our firm to schedule a consultation so we can discuss what planning you may need to do for your peace of mind.