Special Needs Planning
“The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit.” -- Somerset Maugham
Special needs children pose a unique set of challenges for estate planning. As individuals who will require a lifetime’s worth of care, both during and especially after their primary caregivers’ lifetimes, it is imperative to make sure a solid plan is in place while they are still able to craft and execute it. However, because most special needs children are also reliant upon means-tested public assistance, most regular estate planning vehicles are inadequate because of the risk they pose to the disruption of services vital to the well-being of the very heirs being planned for.
Despite the hazards, the governments of both the United States and State of Kansas recognize the importance of providing for special needs children of all ages and the waste that is caused by requiring the disposal of an individual's assets purely to retain eligibility for public assistance. The solution they offer is the special needs trust, a special form of irrevocable trust for the benefit of a special needs child that does not endanger their public assistance so long as it contains certain mandated provisions.
The caveat about trusts in general also applies to special needs trusts in-particular. They are not one-stop solutions to the problems of special needs planning. Proper special needs planning also includes consideration of guardians, conservators, and other estate planning options for the parents of the special needs child. It is important to work with an attorney throughout the process, to ensure that the objective of the special needs planning is being furthered and there are not unforeseen pitfalls which are inadvertently being stepped into.
And, since 2013, the Law Office of Christopher J. Velez has been helping individuals and families in Southwestern Kansas to successfully plan for their special needs children. And we would like the chance to help you do the same.
Call (620) 277-3315 to find out what the Law Office of Christopher J. Velez can do to help plan for your special needs child or children.