When your child has a developmental or physical disability, it is never too early to start planning for their future. By taking careful steps, you can ensure their needs will be met now and in the future. The right approach can ensure they are provided for without risking their eligibility for Social Security benefits.

Making these plans without the support of an experienced estate planning attorney can be risky. Let an Upper Marlboro special needs planning lawyer answer your questions and evaluate your options.

Understanding Special Needs Trusts

A special needs trust is a valuable option for any estate planning attorney in Upper Marlboro. The trust allows the loved ones of a person with special needs to provide for them financially without risking their eligibility for government benefits.

These trusts come in different forms, but they generally are designed to offer financial support without losing eligibility for means-tested government programs like Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This additional support can pay for things not covered by benefits, like transportation, supplemental education, or out-of-pocket dental costs. A trust often directly improves the quality of a person’s life.

The Importance of Reviewing Plans

Planning for a person with special needs is not a simple process that can be wrapped up and forgotten. The terms of these plans should be reviewed on a regular basis. A lot is at stake, especially for a loved one who relies on support from sources like SSI.

Regularly evaluating needs and updating beneficiary information is vital, especially following major life changes. The tools put in place at the beginning of this process might not be adequate in the future. For example, the beneficiary might find themselves with more assets than anticipated. This can put their ability to qualify for other support in jeopardy. Another reason why regular updates are helpful is the potential for changes in medical needs. As a child ages, their condition could worsen or require more complex care. Taking these changes into account is crucial.

Guardianship and Other Forms of Support

In many cases, the most important thing is to have a support structure around a disabled person. When possible, the courts prefer an individual to make decisions on their own. Through a process known as supported decision-making, it may be possible to allow a disabled individual to rely on a group of supporters while making their own autonomous decisions.

Other circumstances require extensive intervention in a person’s life. This might include a court naming a guardian and awarding them legal responsibility over their ward. This could include the power to manage their finances or make medical decisions on their behalf.

This route can be hard on all parties involved, but it can also represent the best chance for a person to live a safe, rewarding life. A special needs planning attorney in Upper Marlboro and Largo can answer questions on when guardianship may be appropriate.

Call an Upper Marlboro Special Needs Planning Attorney Today

There are few things in life more important than ensuring your vulnerable loved ones will be cared for. You can take steps to make certain that they are not only offered the support they need and do so in a way that does not harm their eligibility for government benefits. Reach out to an Upper Marlboro special needs planning lawyer today.