Special Needs Planning - Genser Cona Elder Law

Special Needs Planning

Today, nearly 1 out of every 5 people in the United States — 56.7 million  — have a special need or disability according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Government benefits like Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid benefits are critical for individuals with special needs. While these programs are designed to cover the basics, they do not leave room for much more and have strict income and asset eligibility limits. As such, planning for those with special needs is of critical importance.

What happens if a family member wants to leave a loved one with special needs an inheritance? What if the disabled person comes into money, such as proceeds from a lawsuit, or a lump sum payment from Social Security?  The experienced special needs planning attorneys at Genser Cona Elder Law are here to help.

We'll carefully listen to your needs and concerns along the journey of creating the plan to best achieve your goals. Our experienced special needs planning attorneys will manage the details so you can focus on enjoying your loved ones.

What Are My Options for Special Needs Planning?

Planning for a special needs child requires careful consideration. Who will care for your son or daughter when you are gone? Where and how will he or she live? Any assets left to a special needs child upon the death of a parent should be left in a Supplemental Needs Trust. Parents may consider purchasing life insurance to fund a Supplemental Needs Trust, as either a primary or secondary source.

Supplemental Needs Trusts

The law entitles disabled individuals to keep money in a special trust called a Supplemental Needs Trust or Special Needs Trust. This is a special type of trust designed only for disabled people to provide extra things that are not paid for by government programs. A Supplemental Needs Trust may maintain for the disabled person an unlimited amount of money without affecting, eliminating or reducing their government benefits.

The Supplemental Needs Trusts can pay for things like:

  • Home modifications
  • Clothing and personal care items
  • Vacations and recreational costs
  • Medical care that is not covered by Medicaid.

This type of trust is a viable option in cases involving proceeds from a malpractice or personal injury lawsuit. These proceeds can be deposited into a Supplemental Needs Trust without having a negative impact on government benefit eligibility.   

Pooled Trusts

A Pooled Trust is a type of Supplemental Needs Trust which is administered by a non-profit organization.  The funds are held in an account for the benefit of a person with special needs. A Pooled Trust can be useful for families who need a corporate or institutional trustee or for Medicaid Home Care recipients who have excess income.

This is good news for you and your loved ones. You can still plan for your loved ones without jeopardizing their government benefits. Since many people with special needs rely on Social Security and Medicaid benefits, this is something that is very important to consider.

The experienced special needs planning attorneys at Genser Cona Elder Law can provide guidance and assistance along the way.

How Do I Get Started?

Planning a lifetime of continuous care for your loved one with special needs can be confusing and overwhelming — especially when you're trying to find a good place to start. However, you don't have to do it alone! The special needs planning attorneys at Genser Cona Elder Law are here to help you create a viable plan of your loved one's future.

We provide guidance in establishing goals and determining the right type of trust. We will also secure government benefits, ensuring that you get the best care for your loved one. Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge to ensure your family is protected for generations to come.  

Disability Application Assistance

Applications for government benefits can be tedious and confusing for the average person. It is very important to be attentive to every detail. However, you don't have to do it alone.

The disability benefits attorneys at Genser Cona Elder Law can provide additional guidance and support to help expedite your approval process. We are an experienced team of advocates in your corner working to ensure you and your loved ones have the best legal representation.  

Proper Special Needs Planning Is Critical

There are various options available to care for a special needs adult or child, but proper planning is the key to accomplishing your objectives. The skilled attorneys at Genser Cona Elder Law will act as your advocate in the process. We'll help create a plan so you can rest easier knowing your loved one's future is secure.