Special Needs Planning
Estate planning for a family with special needs children comes with a complex set of financial, social, and medical issues that most lawyers are ill-equipped to handle. I'm here to listen to your unique circumstances and help put your mind at ease about the long-term security of your family member with special needs. I'm dedicated to ensuring your child with special needs will be well taken care of when you’re no longer able to serve as the primary caregiver.
I offer a variety of estate planning tools and strategies designed to accommodate the unique circumstances presented by children with special needs and their families in Texas. I can help you pass on the financial assets needed for your child to live a rich quality of life without jeopardizing their eligibility for government benefits. I'll also assist you in finding and appointing a trusted guardian and/or trustee to look after them in the event of your death or incapacity. We’ll help with locating the best residential opportunities—as well as the means to pay for them.
Special Needs Trusts
One “Catch-22-like” situation surrounding estate planning for those with special needs is leaving enough money to pay for the massive amount of care and supports these individuals typically need throughout their lifetimes. Yet, if parents leave a large lump sum of money directly to a child with special needs, they risk disqualifying him or her for government benefits like Medicaid and supplemental Social Security Income.
Fortunately, the government allows assets to be held in what’s known as a “special needs trust” to provide supplemental financial resources for children with special needs (be those needs physical, mental, or developmental) without affecting their eligibility for public healthcare and income assistance benefits. However, the rules for such trusts are quite complicated.
For instance, funds from a special needs trust cannot be distributed directly to the beneficiary with special needs. They must be disbursed to a third-party who's responsible for providing the goods and services they need to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. The requirements for a child with special needs change dramatically over time, as do the laws governing public benefits.
It’s vital to work with an experienced special needs attorney who can create a comprehensive special needs trust that’s both properly structured and appropriate for your child’s specific situation.
Special Needs Planning & Trusts for Texas Children
Contact Goldman Law Group if you need estate planning for your child with Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, or another developmental or intellectual disability. I can help you develop a sustainable living plan for your child with special needs that will provide them with the finances they need to live a full life, while preserving their access to government benefits.