Special Needs Planning
Planning for the Future of Your Loved One with Special Needs
Special Needs Planning is one of our core practice areas. At Elder Law Associates PA,
our attorneys will help you understand your loved one’s Social Security benefits and
Medicaid benefits. We assist our clients with planning for your loved one with special
needs through setting up special needs trusts and comprehensive estate planning.
We recognize that family caregivers do not always add up the cost of their support and caring for an individual with a disability. Caregivers provide many services naturally and willingly to loved ones to help enhance their quality of life, including as:
- Social service coordinator
- Job coach
- Personal care attendant
- Money manager
- Recreation director
If you become unable to provide these services or die without planning for the continuation of these services, your loved one’s quality of life may suffer.
How Our Experienced Attorneys Can Help
Elder Law Associates PA’s special needs planning attorneys can assist you with:
- Establishing comprehensive care plans, organized so that funds for your loved one with disabilities or special needs will not be at risk from estate taxes or the long-term care costs of caregivers;
- Issues in connection with the suspension or loss of Supplemental Security Income benefits;
- Applying and qualifying for Medicaid for a loved one with disabilities or special needs;
- Providing for a loved one with disabilities or special needs in your will or trust;
- Applying for guardianship for your loved one with disabilities or special needs;
- Setting up a Special Needs Trust or Supplemental Needs Trust for your loved one with disabilities or special needs;
- Informing you of the estate planning options available to you;
- Assisting clients with long-term care and asset preservation and protection planning for your loved one with disabilities or special needs;
- Setting up asset protection plans;
- Setting up family trusts and agreements;
- Setting up family care agreements;
- Creating durable powers of attorney;
- Creating health care proxies and living wills;
- Submitting appeals for nursing home and assisted living facility care for your loved one with disabilities or special needs.
Special Needs Trusts
As the average life span of our population continues to increase, and the elderly and people with disabilities and special needs live longer than ever before, attorneys are challenged to properly protect them. The United States government provides financial assistance through Medicaid, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to some extent, but it is rarely sufficient to meet all the needs of the disabled person or person with special needs. A Special Needs Trust is a crucial legal tool that holds assets to care for and protect the elderly and people with disabilities and special needs, while allowing them to continue to receive their government benefits.
Special Needs Trusts may be created with the proceeds from a judgment or settlement or by a loved one with concerns for a beneficiary in need. Elder Law Associates PA is prepared to handle all pre- and post-settlement needs of people with disabilities and special needs, as well as proper planning for their future.
Special Needs Trusts have many benefits, including:
- preserving eligibility for government benefits;
- providing funds to pay for “extras” (e.g., homes, automobiles and prescription drugs);
- protecting a case settlement from being immediately depleted due to the high cost of health care;
- keeping assets within the family; and
- giving family members much needed peace of mind by providing funds to care for their loved ones who may not be able to care for themselves.
We provide Special Needs Planning services throughout Florida, and particularly in the following cities/municipalities and surrounding communities in South Florida near our offices:
- Palm Beach County: Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Highland Beach, Lake Worth, West Palm Beach, North Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Royal Palm Beach
- Broward County: Coconut Creek, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Margate, Plantation, Pompano Beach, Sunrise, Tamarac, Weston
- Miami-Dade County: Aventura, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Sunny Isles, Miami Shores
Having gone through an extremely difficult Medicaid application process for my father in Florida years ago and with the recent passing of my mother I desperately needed to find a competent and understanding law firm that could expedite and help me with elder care legal issues for my uncle in Boca.
Living in NYC with nobody to take care of my sick uncle 1,400 miles away, I found the expertise and compassion of Howard Krooks and his wonderful firm to be incredible. I would highly recommend them to anyone and already have.
When my mom had a stroke -- and unfortunately due to her diabetes -- needed to be moved full time to a nursing home, I needed to qualify her for Medicaid, as the cost of proper care is prohibitive. Ellen and her team did an outstanding job, helping to reallocate my mom's assets and quickly qualifying her for Medicaid benefits. It would be almost impossible for the typical person to get through this process in such a short period of time.
I truly thank Elder Law Associates PA for making this happen.
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