If someone in your life has special needs, you know that a little extra care often needs to be taken to make sure that the person you love is always protected and provided for. Your desire to provide for your loved one with a disability does not end when you pass away, but it does become more complicated to care for a person with special needs after you are gone.
Whether you are a parent, guardian, relative, or friend of a person with a disability, you need to make smart and informed choices about how you can enrich the life of your loved one with special needs. You also need to be aware that a financial gift could actually backfire if not given properly.
Randy Holmgren can help. Our Salt Lake City, UT special needs planning lawyers provide invaluable advice and assistance in protecting and providing for someone in your life with disabilities. Give us a call at (801) 981-4437 today to get personalized advice and answers to questions including:
- When is special needs planning needed?
- What are the steps in special needs planning?
- How can a Salt Lake City special needs planning lawyer help me?
When is Special Needs Planning Needed?
Anyone who cares for a person with a disabling condition requires special needs planning. Likewise, any person who wishes to make a financial gift to a person with special needs also needs to get assistance before making the gift. This is true whether you are going to give money to a person with a disability during your lifetime, or leave that person money in your will. Finally, if a person in your life with special needs is acquiring assets, you need to talk with a lawyer about special needs planning so you can help ensure their money is used to enrich their life.
Special needs planning should be done right away as soon as you become responsible for the day-to-day care of some who is disabled. Something could happen to you at any time, and your loved one could be very vulnerable if you have not made provisions for where he or she will live and who will provide care.
Special needs planning also needs to be done before giving money or assets, because transferring resources could result in the loss of important government benefits.
Many people with special needs receive Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, and other government benefits for the needy. Since there are resource limits for these benefit programs, an inheritance or gift could result in loss of access to benefits. With special needs planning, you can help to make certain that does not happen, and you also get the additional benefit of making sure the financial assets you are giving are managed appropriately to provide for the person with special needs.
What Are the Steps in Special Needs Planning?
The steps of special needs planning differ depending upon whether you are ensuring care for a disabled person, or are making sure an influx of money or resources is used wisely and doesn’t cause a loss of access to benefits. Some of the possible steps involved with special needs planning could include:
- Naming a backup guardian for someone who has special needs once you can no longer fulfill the guardianship role.
- Finding a safe residential environment for a person with special needs to live in once the person can no longer live in your home.
- Purchasing life insurance to make certain that a person with special needs who you are supporting will always have financial resources.
- Creating a first or third party special needs trust so money you give or money acquired by the person with the disability does not cause a loss of access to government benefits. The trust document also should name a trustee to manage the assets and should provide instructions for how the money will be used.
A special needs planning lawyer can help you to take all of these steps, and to make use of any additional legal tools that are necessary to provide for someone with a disabling condition who you care about.
How Can a Salt Lake City Special Needs Planning Lawyer Help Me?
Randy Holmgren provides special needs planning help to clients in Salt Lake City, Provo, Orem, Ogden, Park City, Cedar City, St. George, and surrounding areas throughout Utah. Our legal team is committed to helping those who have loved ones in their lives with disabilities. We will work with you to find personalized solutions that are right for you and the person you care about. Give us a call at (801) 981-4437 or contact us to find out more about the ways we can help you.