special needs planning

Special Needs Planning


Phelps LaClair, serving Chandler, Mesa, Phoenix, and Scottsdale, has helped families with special needs loved ones for many years. If you are taking care of adults or children with special needs, such as mental or physical disabilities, you have probably asked yourself what would happen to them if you became unable to care and provide for them. We can help you come to a place of rest. Our attorneys have a personal interest in helping special needs children and individuals with disabilities. Because of this, special needs planning is one of the most rewarding things we do.

Special Needs Planning is Different

There are many ways you can leave money and assets to take care of special needs children. You could include them as beneficiaries in your living trust or will, or you could name them as beneficiaries of an insurance policy. If you choose those solutions, though, you may disqualify them from essential benefits under Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income programs. Although these programs only provide for bare necessities, your added assets can give them a better quality of life. How to keep their benefits and provide additional income is the question we can answer for you. Special needs planning is a focused approach to estate planning that can avoid probate and unnecessary legal expenses.

Special Needs Trust (SNT)

Thankfully, the government has created rules for people with disabilities that allow assets to be placed in a special needs trust. If the disabled recipient of Medicaid or SSI meets certain requirements, they will be able to keep their benefits and enjoy the assets and distributions of the SNT. As a result of this, the recipient will have the comfort and security of maintaining a lifestyle that he or she is used to. They can have financial independence and be protected from people who might take advantage of their situation. Because you are funding this, you will also have peace of mind knowing that administration of the trust is handled by someone of your choosing. It is not randomly assigned by lawyers and judges who are unacquainted with your child’s needs.

Additional resources from SNT

Needs-based programs like SSI and Medicare usually provide only for food, housing and clothing. A special needs trust can make additional funding available for items the government programs don’t include. With an SNT, your child can purchase transportation, or make travel arrangements. The SNT could pay for educational opportunities and recreational activities. You can also use SNT funds for entertainment and for electronic equipment, computers and other communication devices.

Professional Guidance from Phelps LaClair

Special needs planning is so much more than preparing paper documents. We know the law involving SNTs, and we take the time to learn about your loved ones particular needs. We explore your goals and guide you through the process of estate planning to design a custom plan for you and your special needs children. Call us today for a free consultation. There is no obligation on your part; only life-enhancing options for you and your family.



Images used under creative commons license (Commerical Use) 07/10/2020 Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash

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