Atlanta Special Needs Planning
Individuals with disabilities must have less than $2,000 to their name in order to qualify for government benefits. Even if they do not currently have assets over that amount, we still need to plan for future inheritances, life insurance payouts, or the general desire to save financially for their future. To do so, we set up a special needs trust where someone (usually the parent) is named trustee and supervises the money to ensure continued eligibility for government benefits. We prepare a will for the parents which coordinates with the special needs trust, and we will have wording which the parents can give to other family members for use in their wills too.
If someone with a disability already has assets in their name, we can look at what we can a "first-party special needs trust". This would be used in situations such as where the individual has received an inheritance or a payout in a lawsuit.
Although ABLE Accounts are a new and wonderful option for those with disabilities here in Georgia - especially those who work -- a special needs trust is needed alongside the ABLE account to ensure continued eligibility for benefits, as an ABLE account cannot be used for inheritances or payouts from life insurance / retirement accounts.
Although some individuals with disabilities have a need for guardianship, there are also tools available to allow those with disabilities to have the support needed to make their own decisions. I can assist with supported decision-making contracts or financial powers of attorney which can help avoid the need for a guardianship or conservatorship, and which allow those with disabilities the pride and independence of participating in decisions that affect their lives.
In addition to Special Needs Trusts, advice is available on becoming eligible for government benefits where the individual receives income higher than the allowed limit for certain government benefits or needs to plan for future Medicaid needs as with a nursing home.
SSI / Medicaid