Virginia Beach Special Needs Planning Lawyer

A true plan involves more than just a special needs trust; it requires an analysis of funding options, which include family assets, public benefits, and other resources available to provide the quality of life desired for a loved one.

This can become a significant concern for families because they must consider not only the impact the receipt of assets may have on benefits, but also where a loved one will reside and how care will be received. As a result, comprehensive planning extends beyond the establishment of a special needs trust. It requires a thorough analysis of funding options by an estate planning attorney, which includes family assets, public benefits, and other resources available to provide the quality of life desired for a loved one.

The objective is to formulate a comprehensive strategy that alleviates concerns and ensures a supportive environment. While such a plan requires an understanding of financial options, public benefits laws, tax laws, local resources, and the laws pertaining to special needs trusts, a practitioner must also under a client’s disability, the resulting abilities and limitations, and their goals. A Virginia Beach special needs planning lawyer can help a family navigate this complex process.

A Trust Can Provide for the Needs of Others

Individuals with special needs, both children and adults, often depend on public benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), Medicare, and Medicaid to meet their fundamental needs and healthcare requirements. Recognizing the crucial role of these benefits, families often seek to ensure sustained support for their loved ones upon their own personal disability or demise. Given the income or asset limitations associated with these programs, it is important that families avoid conventional asset transfer methods to avoid jeopardizing the eligibility of the individual with special needs.

In this context, special needs trusts emerge as essential planning tools. Governed by federal laws, these trusts are not considered a resource, thus enabling families to offer ongoing financial assistance to their loved ones with special needs without impacting their vital benefits. Special needs trusts come in various forms, and the laws regulating their management are intricate, necessitating the guidance of a Virginia Beach attorney well-versed in special needs planning. Additionally, attorneys provide valuable advice related to distributions from a special needs trust to avoid disruption of public benefits.

Special Needs Planning is More Than Just a Trust

It is universal that minor children require careful planning to secure their future upon the demise of their parents. Many adults, as a result of physical or mental challenges, require a similar plan of support. Although special needs trusts are essential, special needs planning extends far beyond a mere trust.

The needs of a person with a disability are just as diverse as the disability world itself; however, there are some common concerns among families. While young, families often provide daily support and serve as advocates to ensure appropriate education and ancillary services necessary for their child to remain in the community. When a child with special needs reaches adulthood, a new range of planning is necessary.

Upon reaching adulthood, a parent’s ability to handle certain matters comes to an end. While the law authorizes parents to oversee specific healthcare matters when their child cannot do so, there may be roadblocks. It is imperative that a power of attorney is developed to ensure continued support in decision-making if the individual has the capacity to do so, or in default thereof, that guardianship and conservatorship be established to ensure families can continue to make decisions necessary for personal and financial management.

Additionally, the parental duty of support imposed by public benefit agencies, often referred to as deeming, ends. As a result, families must navigate the maze of Social Security and Medicaid to attain benefits critical to a lifetime of support. Many families do not fully understand the rules associated with eligibility or what their loved one may qualify for, let alone the importance of applying for benefits as soon as possible to avoid disrupting dependent and survivor benefits available for dependent children. A lawyer in Virginia Beach can help a family understand the many elements of special needs planning.

Families must also consider who will provide care and where a loved one will reside, especially when the primary caregiver is no longer able to provide, such as a result of their own disability or death. While other family members may assist, there are certain benefits that will allow for supportive care and residency. Families must assess the available options to determine whether care should be continued in the family home, or in a supportive residential setting or long-term care facility.

There are additional tools, such as ABLE accounts, that may also be utilized as part of a comprehensive plan to maximize benefits. This is particularly true when an individual receives a small windfall or is unable to afford their own food and shelter. It is, however, important to understand the limitations of this tool and how best to incorporate it into an overall plan.

Reach Out to a Virginia Beach Special Needs Planning Attorney Today

When you are responsible for the well-being of another who cannot care for themselves, it is imperative that a comprehensive plan be developed. A Virginia Beach special needs planning lawyer can help you develop a plan of care for you or a loved one. Call today to learn more.

Areas We Serve

With an office near Town Center, Virginia Beach and a second location beside the Chesapeake courthouse, our team provides quality legal representation across the entire Hampton Roads Area.

  • Virginia Beach
  • Hampton
  • Chesapeake
  • Newport News
  • Norfolk
  • Yorktown
  • Portsmouth
  • Accomack County
  • Suffolk
  • Northampton County

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law N/a
4768 Euclid Road,
Suite 103

Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462
Map & Directions