When someone is severely disabled as a result of illness, injury, or a birth defect, it is the responsibility of friends and loved ones to make sure the disabled individual is properly cared for. When a disabled person cannot act on his own or manage his own affairs, provisions must be made for the person’s care. It is also essential to consider how the individual will be financially supported. Many friends and relatives of someone who is disabled want to leave a financial gift after they pass away, but this can raise complications including loss of access to government benefits. A personal injury settlement when an injury occurs due to an accident could also impact essential government benefits access.
Special needs planning is about making sure a disabled person can keep essential benefits while still inheriting money, receiving a gift, or receiving an injury settlement. A comprehensive special needs plan will address this issue as well as taking care of other legal matters that are necessary to provide the maximum protection for the disabled individual.
The Law Offices of Cheryl David can provide help. Our legal team has extensive experience with special needs planning and we offer personalized guidance and advice. We can not only help you create your own plan for the disabled person in your life but we can also answer questions including:
- Why is special needs planning essential?
- What is involved in North Carolina special needs planning?
- How can a Guilford County special needs planning lawyer help?
Why is Special Needs Planning Essential?
There are several key reasons why it is imperative to create a special needs plan.
- You need to create a plan in order to ensure money the disabled person receives doesn’t count for determining eligibility for either Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income. These programs are means-tested government benefits many disabled individuals rely on to provide them with medical services and income. Money obtained through a personal injury settlement, given as a gift, or given as an inheritance could be disqualifying unless a plan is in place to ensure the assets do not count when determining eligibility.
- You need to create a plan for management of the disabled individual’s money. If you are leaving a gift or an inheritance, you want to ensure the money is used for the benefit of the disabled person and to provide the things that you believe he needs and deserves.
- You need to create a plan so the special needs person can be cared for properly. If you are providing day-to-day care or managing the money or assets of the disabled person, you will need to make provisions for what happens after you are no longer around and able to handle doing these tasks.
These are just a few of the key reasons why it is essential to create a comprehensive special needs plan. Whether you are helping someone who has been in an accident and is about to receive a settlement or you plan to give a gift or leave an inheritance, you want to ensure that the money is a benefit and blessing without causing harm.
What is Involved in North Carolina Special Needs Planning?
Special needs planning generally involves the creation of either a first or third party special needs trust. The trust will need to be created following all appropriate legal guidelines and will need to be funded. A trustee should be selected who can manage and use the money for the benefit of the disabled individual. Instructions may be provided detailing how the money in the trust can be used. No cash transfers to the disabled person are permitted or benefits could be jeopardized, but items can be purchased to provide for the needs of the disabled individual.
Parents, guardians and caregivers of the disabled individual will also need to ensure provisions are made for someone else to assume guardianship and provide the care that the disabled individual will need over the remainder of his or her life.
How can a Guilford County Special Needs Planning Lawyer Help?
The Law Offices of Cheryl David has helped many clients throughout Greensboro, NC, Guilford County, and surrounding regions of North Carolina with all aspects of creating a plan for a special needs friend or relative. We will work hard to protect the disabled individual and to make sure he or she gets the best care and is provided for no matter what happens in the future. To learn more about the assistance we can provide, give us a call at (336) 547-9999 or contact us online.