Providing financially for a person with a disability or providing the day-to-day-care of a person with special needs are both very important. If you are a parent, friend or a relative of someone with a disabling condition, you may wish to fulfill the responsibility you have both during your own lifetime and after you are gone. Parman & Easterday wants to help.
There are legal tools that can help to ensure friends and family can provide for the care and support of a person with special needs. However, to protect your loved one with a disability, you need to know how to use those tools. Without a plan in place, good intentions and well-meaning gifts could actually be harmful. Give us a call today to find out more about how we can help with the creation of a special needs plan that is right for your situation and to get answers to questions including:
- Who should create a special needs plan?
- What is involved in special needs planning?
- How can a Kansas City, KS special needs planning lawyer help?
Who Should Create a Special Needs Plan?
You should create a special needs plan if you are the parent of a child with special needs and you are providing ongoing care for your child. You will likely not outlive your child, and you do not want your child’s future left up to fate when you are gone.
You should make provisions for where your child will live, who will provide care, and how care will be paid for. Some parents will make arrangements for a child with special needs to live with a sibling or other relative, while others will arrange for group home care. To make sure care costs are paid, parents may wish to purchase a life insurance policy or otherwise leave assets to the child with disabilities.
Both parents and any other friends or relatives who are going to provide a financial gift to a person with disabilities should also get help with the creation of a special needs plan. A person who has a severe disability may be receiving certain types of government benefits, like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to provide income and Medicaid to pay for medical care costs. These and other government programs impose an asset test to make sure the need-based programs are provided only to people with few resources. Providing a financial gift to someone with disabilities could thus give the person with special needs too many assets, and he or she could be disqualified from receiving benefits. Creating a plan can help to ensure this does not happen.
If you are caring for or helping someone with a disability and that person has his own assets or is about to receive money from an injury settlement or other source, you may also need to provide assistance in ensuring the financial windfall does not cause a loss of access to benefits.
Whatever the source of the money, it is also important to ensure property and assets can be managed appropriately in case the person with special needs cannot take day-to-day control over caring for the assets.
What is Involved in Special Needs Planning?
The special needs planning process will vary depending upon whether you are making only financial arrangements for a person with a disability or whether you are making provisions for guardianship and ongoing care.
To protect a person with special needs financially, a special needs trust is generally created. This is a specific type of trust and there are legal formalities which must be followed, so it is best to get legal help.
How Can an Oklahoma City, OK Special Needs Planning Lawyer Help?
Parman & Easterday works hard to help you ensure you can provide day-to-day care and/or financial support for a person in your life who has a disability. If you live in or around Oklahoma City, OK or Kansas City, KS, we can provide you with the guidance you need to provide for a person with special needs and to ensure you do not accidentally jeopardize any benefits which that person may be receiving.
Give us a call at (405)-843-6100 in Oklahoma City or 913-385-9400 in Kansas to learn more about how we can guide you through the special needs planning process. You can also contact us online to talk with a member of our legal team to find out what steps you should take to ensure that a person you love with a disability is provided for and protected even when you are no longer there to provide care.