Special Needs Planning
If your family includes a child or loved one with special needs, such as mental or physical disabilities, you want to ensure they are receiving the best possible services and will be properly taken care of after you pass.
I can help you plan for your loved ones’ current care and future special and supplemental needs with specialized trusts set up to protect government benefits and future care planning to enhance quality of life and ensure they receive the services and support they need in the future. I work collaboratively with fellow attorneys for guardianship referrals and provide referrals to community resources, financial advisors, care managers, and patient advocates. My approach to special needs planning is flexible, and I am happy to work with your existing team.
Special Needs Trusts and ABLE Accounts
Many public and community non-profit programs have income and assets restrictions, which can affect eligibility for important programs and services. Special Needs Trusts may be used by parents and grandparents to provide funds to enhance the life of a child or adult with special needs by providing funds to pay for supportive services, education, social programs, non-covered medical expenses, travel, and other enrichment. Medicaid provides many important programs for persons with special needs, and special needs trusts are an essential tool to protect Medicaid benefits. Special needs trusts (first-party and OBRA trusts) can also be set up for individuals with disabilities to protect payouts from lawsuits and unexpected inheritances. ABLE accounts can be a great tool for special needs planning, especially when used in conjunction with special needs trusts.
Gatekeeper Trusts for Individuals with Mental Health Issues
Adult children and siblings with mental health issues, such as depression and bipolar disorder, often need assistance managing their financial affairs, and sometimes need protection from making poor financial choices or being influenced and manipulated by others. “Gatekeeper Trusts” provide a flexible and protective way to help individuals with mental health issues safeguard their assets, while maintaining some degree of independence. My goal in crafting “Gatekeeper Trusts” is to preserve dignity and maintain flexibility, because an individual’s mental health status may change, improve, or decline over time. Every situation is different, and each Gatekeeper Trust is tailored for the individual’s specific needs. In addition to preparing Gatekeeper Trusts, I have significant experience helping families find the most appropriate mental health resources and providers, and dealing with mental health crisis management.