Being a parent comes with its challenges. I know first-hand. I have two small children (ages 1 and 3). However, being a parent of a special needs child or a child with a disability comes with even more challenges. There are both time constraints, career constraints, and even financial constraints. This includes issues with schooling, medical care needs, and even in-home medical care needs.
However, when you are the parent of a child with disabilities, there are a number of legal responsibilities as well. In many circumstances, families do not call our office until it is too late.
There are a number of planning needs that we help parents with in our law practice Including:
- If You and Your Spouse Should Pass Away While Your Child is Still a Minor, Who Will Raise That Child?
- What To Do Should You and Your Spouse Pass Away When It Comes to Providing For Your Child Who Will Need Specialized Care in Adulthood?
- Ensure That Your Child Will Never Be Disqualified For Certain Federal and State Government Benefit Programs Now or in the Future?
- Who Will Make Your Child’s Financial and Medical Decisions Should You Not Be Around, and When your Child Reaches Adulthood?
- How to Plan your Estate to Leave Instructions, Directions, Memories, and Assets to Your Child?
We answer these questions and solve these problems for our clients everyday and assist them in taking the worrying and legal items off their plate, so they can focus on being great parents and providing a lifestyle for their child now and in the future. If you have these questions, please fill out the contact form at the bottom and left of your screen or call our Client Service Director at (615) 472-2482 to schedule an initial legal strategy session.
Special Needs Trusts or Supplemental Needs Trusts
This is a strategy that would allow your special needs adult child to receive government assistance benefits in the future. This is a legal document that allows the assets that you leave behind to pass to your special needs adult child in trust to supplement any government benefits that they are currently receiving. This allows your special needs adult child to receive the benefit of what you leave behind for him or her, without affecting their lifestyle and benefits.
As with many different types of trusts, a special needs trust is highly specialized. Working closely with an attorney who understands special needs trusts and will guide you through the process of administering the trust and when and how to apply for government benefits is extremely important.
If you are the parent to a special needs child or to a child with a disability, your ability to make decisions for your child when it comes to medical decisions and financial decisions (such as speaking with doctors, accessing bank accounts, accepting their social security benefits, speaking with schools and enrolling your child in other programs) ends when your child turns 18 years of age. In the eyes of the law, your child is an adult. When this time comes, you need to petition the court in what is called a conservatorship proceeding so that you may continue to make the necessary and important decisions on behalf of your child.
You may be reading this and realize you didn’t do that and your child is over the age of 18. Don’t worry, it is not too late. You can still pursue a conservatorship proceeding. However, you should do so soon because you will need the required court documents to be able to act on your child’s behalf including speaking with doctors, accessing medical records, accepting their mandated social security benefits, accessing any bank accounts, or enrolling your child in school or other programs.
Schedule a Special Needs Planning Strategy Session, Attend a Free Workshop on Special Needs Planning, or Register for a Free Webinar on Special Needs Planning!
Whether you are looking for information on when to pursue a conservatorship proceeding, you need to establish a special needs trust, or you just need more information, you will discover everything you need to know including:
- The Importance of Naming a Guardian For Your Child
- What Happens When your Child Turns 18
- How to Avoid the Long and Expensive Court Process Called Probate
- How to Preserve Any Government Benefits Your Child May Be Entitled to Now or In The Future (Hint: Your Children Receiving Their Inheritance Could Disqualify Them!)
- What Is a Special Needs Trust and Is It Necessary?
- What Is a Conservatorship and What is a Guardianship?
- Learn About What You Can Do To Ensure Your Child Continues to Live Their Life With the Lifestyle You Would Want After You’re Gone
- What It’s Important to Leave Behind Detailed Directions and Instruction, And Not Just Money
- Plus Much More!
CLICK HERE to Register for One of Our Upcoming Monthly Workshops or Webinars!