Special Needs Planning

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Special Needs Planning

As a premier Denton estate planning and business planning law firm, we do more than prepare your financial future — we protect your legacy. No matter what kind of assistance you need, from asset protection to special needs planning, our team is here to help. Call us today at (940) 594-7754 to schedule a consultation. Everyone has an estate plan, including you; the only question is whether you create it for yourself or the government creates it for you. When someone passes away without a plan, the government decides what happens to their assets. Here’s the bottom line: Everyone needs an estate plan, regardless of their net worth. However, financial preparation is more critical for some than others. If you care for a family member with special needs, failing to properly organize your assets can have devastating effects on their future. It can jeopardize their care, leave them disenfranchised, and even render them ineligible for disability benefits. That’s no way to leave a legacy. Some people think the solution to this is to print estate planning documents and get started alone. However, estate law is complex, and unless you’re a lawyer, you can’t be sure you’ve covered every base and eliminated all possible mistakes. Luckily, Denton’s top special needs planning attorneys are right around the corner at Hunter Sargent, PLLC. Keep reading to learn why our services can be essential to your family’s well-being. Do you need help from a special needs law group? Our compassionate estate planning lawyers are here to relieve your burden and ease your mind. Contact us to get started.

Other Factors to Consider with Special Needs Planning

When it comes to special needs planning, creating a trust isn’t all you’ll need to do. An experienced special needs planning attorney can help make sure all of your bases are covered by also reviewing the following: • Transition planning. For parents of adolescents with special needs, it’s important to set up a plan for how they will transition into adulthood with as much independence as possible. Parents should design an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) to address the academic, social, and life skills their child will require. • Guardianship. If a child with special needs will be unable to make important decisions on their own, parents or family members may want to establish a guardianship. This will allow someone to look out for and protect the best interests of the individual. • Government benefits. As previously discussed, eligibility for benefits programs will be based on the income and assets of the person with disabilities. Rather than protecting the beneficiary, receiving a sum of money or inheritance may inhibit them from receiving essential support, so it’s important to plan accordingly. • Beneficiary designations. A special needs planning lawyer from our firm will review your beneficiary designations to ensure they’re not in conflict with your estate plan. • Letter of intent. A letter of intent can help you communicate essential information about an individual with special needs to their caregiver upon your passing. It may include medical and educational history, likes, dislikes, habits, aspirations, lifestyle, quality of life considerations, and more.

Why Do I Need Special Needs Planning?

People with serious physical or developmental disabilities have special needs. They are often unable to care for themselves or live independently, so they rely on trusted caregivers, long-term care facilities, or nursing homes. However, quality care is expensive, so many people with special needs receive government benefits from Social Security and Medicaid. If you’re the parent, grandparent, or primary caregiver to a person with disabilities, you’ll probably want to leave them an inheritance. However, this is where things get tricky. If they inherit a large sum of money, they may not qualify for the government benefits they did previously, and comprehensive care can quickly drain their assets. But don’t worry — there’s an easy way to prevent this from happening.
The goal of special needs care planning is to make sure your loved one can receive your funds without losing eligibility to benefits. By working with a special needs planning attorney, you can ensure they have a comfortable, safe future, even after you’re gone.

What Is a Special Needs Trust?

Trusts are a reliable, commonly used estate planning tool. These legal agreements consist of three parties: the grantor who issues the trust, the trustee who oversees it, and the trust’s ultimate beneficiary. Money placed in a special needs trust doesn’t count toward the beneficiary’s assets, meaning they can still receive Social Security and Medicaid benefits. However, trust distributions may only be used for certain expenses.

Spending a Special Needs Trust

Beneficiaries can use money in this type of trust to cover a wide range of expenses, including the following:
  • Medical devices like wheelchairs
  • Computers and other technology
  • Public transportation
  • Personal vehicles
  • Rehabilitation and therapy
  • Insurance premiums
  • Specialized job training
  • Recreation and entertainment
  • Tuition
  • Business startup costs
  • Other healthcare expenses
Although a special needs trust covers a variety of large expenses, it cannot be used to pay for everyday items like food or housing. If the individual with disabilities does use the special needs trust for these purposes, the government can designate the amount spent as countable income, meaning it may disrupt eligibility for public benefits.

Hunter Sargent, PLLC: Top Special Needs Planning Lawyers in Denton, Texas

Everyone likes to think they’ve got plenty of time, but that’s not always the case. When you have a loved one with disabilities who depends on you, there’s a lot at stake. An estate planning attorney with experience in special needs planning can help you make sure your loved one receives the appropriate care and advocacy after you’ve passed.The good news is that finding legal help in the Denton area is easier than you think. Instead of Googling “special needs attorney near me,” you can contact Hunter Sargent, PLLC, for a comprehensive assessment. We’ll review your situation and make sure your estate plan aligns with your unique legal needs. Ready to design your financial plan? Reach out to us online or give us a call at (940) 594-7754 today.

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The best time to plan your legacy was 10 years ago. The next best time is today. Everyone needs estate planning - the good news is it's never too early and if you're reading this, it's not too late.

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    While this website provides general information, it does not constitute legal advice. Any communication with Hunter Sargent, PLLC via e-mail or through this website does not constitute or create an attorney-client relationship and is not privileged or confidential.