Planning for Special Needs Children

Planning for Special Needs Children
If you currently provide care for a child or loved one with special needs (such as mental or physical disabilities), you are probably concerned about their future.  Who will care for them when you are no longer able to do so?  We share your concern.

While you can leave assets to your child, such a bequest may prevent her from qualifying for essential benefits such as Medicaid and SSI.  Public benefits provide only for the bare necessities such as food, housing and clothing, and will probably not provide your loved one with the resources that would allow them the quality of life you wish for them.  Fortunately, the government has established rules allowing assets to be held in trust, called a "Special Needs" or "Supplemental Needs" Trust for a recipient of SSI and Medicaid, as long as certain requirements are met. 

Our law firm can help you set up a Special Needs Trust so that government benefit eligibility is preserved while at the same time providing for the supplemental needs of your child (those that go beyond food, shelter, clothing, and the medical and long term support and services of Medicaid).  The Special Needs Trust must be designed specifically to supplement, not supplant public benefits.  The parents or other trustees of the trust must be aware that funds from the trust cannot be distributed directly to the disabled beneficiary, to avoid disqualification. Instead, funds should be sent directly to service providers.  In addition, it is important to take a comprehensive look at the estate plans of parents and other relatives to ensure that unexpected inheritances do not disqualify the special needs child from critical public benefits.

     We are committed to serving the needs of parents planning for special needs children, and from time to time sponsor seminars on planning for special children.  Please check out our seminars on the menu on our homepage.

The Law Office of Richard Poole assists clients in the Wilmington, North Carolina area, including New Hanover County, Brunswick County and Pender County, Topsail, Hampstead, Figure Eight, Ogden, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Leland.

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| Phone: 910-509-7253

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