Upstate Elder Law, P.A. frequently assists clients with disabilities and their families with legal planning for their long-term care needs, giving careful regard to preserving eligibility for Medicaid or other public benefits programs.
In appropriate instances, we draft Special Needs Trusts for the benefit of disabled adults or children and, if necessary, obtain court approval of the Special Needs Trust. We also provide advice to the trustees administering those trusts. Please click here for more information on Special Needs Trusts.
Disability is more common than many of us realize. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's report Americans with Disabilities: 2010, 56.7 million (19% of the population) Americans have some form of disability. Planning for the care needs of a disabled person is often a challenging process, since disability usually means lower income and greater expenses for health care and other needs.
Disability planning is the process of comprehensive planning for the lifetime care needs of a disabled person. This might include medical needs, care needs, legal requirements, and the financial arrangements to pay for the needs of the disabled person. It may require input from experts from a number of fields, including medical, social work, legal, accounting, and investment professionals. It is important for clients to get help with disability planning not only because the needs of disabled persons are often complex, but also because it can be difficult for family or professionals helping the disabled person to view a complete picture of what will be needed over a lifetime.
Many of our clients are individuals with disabilities who may have received a settlement from a personal injury lawsuit. Other clients may be disabled persons who have received gifts or inheritances. Still other clients may not be disabled, but may wish to plan for the needs of a disabled child or another close family member. Other clients may need to establish Guardianships, Conservatorships, and Special Needs Trusts for a disabled person or protected person (when necessary).
We also provide advice to trustees and estate planning attorneys about the administration of Special Needs trusts, and we draft Powers of Attorney or other appropriate documents for the disabled person and members of their family.