There are a variety of laws in place that protect individuals with special needs. These laws include the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Housing Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and other laws that protect the rights of those with disabilities. If you care for a child, spouse, or loved one with disabilities, you may have many concerns and questions about what will happen to your loved one should you pass away. This can be one of the greatest stresses that individuals face as they themselves age or they find themselves facing disabilities of their own. Additionally, because individuals with disabilities qualify for certain federal aid programs, putting your loved one on your will can put them at risk of losing their essential government benefits. Elder Law of Nashville, P.L.C. is a special needs law firm who works with families and offers compassionate and caring solutions to give loved ones the peace of mind they deserve.
Understanding Government Benefits and Protecting Your Loved One’s Government Benefits: Special Needs Trusts
Individuals with special needs are generally entitled to receive a range of government benefits. These benefits include Medicaid or Medicare to provide access to health services, Social Security Disability, or Supplemental Security Income, and other benefits to secure housing and meet basic needs. However, if you include your disabled loved one in your will and provide him or her with a lump sum, your loved one runs the risk of losing their government benefits. This could mean the loss of health care services, housing, and other supports that provide basic needs. With health care law rapidly changing, many families worry that their loved ones may have trouble accessing health care due to their pre-existing conditions. However, there are ways you can protect your loved one today, ensuring them continued access to government aid. Many families set up special needs trusts to ensure that their loved ones continue to receive the government benefits that they need. Because special needs trusts are managed by another person and not the beneficiary, the government will not consider the assets when determining a person’s eligibility for government aid programs.
While special needs trusts are not managed by the beneficiary, they are designed to benefit only the beneficiary. Families should take the time to find a person whom they trust to manage the trust. Because money cannot be given directly to the beneficiary, the trustee should be a person who understands the needs of the beneficiary. For instance, the trust can be used to purchase necessities, travel, furniture, cover additional medical costs, vehicles, phone costs, and even additional recreation costs. A special needs law firm can help you navigate the process of setting up a trust and designating a trustee. Our firm can also help you outline your loved one’s wishes and needs so that you can plan ahead and ensure his or her comfort. Elder Law of Nashville, P.L.C. work closely with families to understand their needs, their wishes for their loved ones, their loved one’s government benefits, and other circumstances that could impact the plan. Because these trusts must include very specific language and consider federal laws and regulations, most families seek the assistance of a special needs lawyer, like Elder Law of Nashville, P.L.C. Our firm can help your family navigate the language and technicalities that must be addressed when creating a special needs trust.
Law for Children with Special Needs in Nashville, Tennessee
If your child has special needs, he or she may be entitled to receive additional services through his or her public school. Federal law requires that all children receive a free and appropriate education, and this includes children with disabilities. Children who qualify for additional services include children with emotional disturbances, learning disabilities, mental retardation, children with traumatic brain injury, autism, vision impairments, and hearing impairments. Children with physical disabilities and other health impairments are also entitled to accommodation and additional services. As a parent, you have the right to request an evaluation to determine whether your child meets the requirements for special education. If you are having trouble securing services you believe your child needs, you may want to speak to a special needs law firm in Nashville. Elder Law of Nashville, P.L.C. works with families to help them understand their rights, their responsibilities, and the next steps they can take to secure services for their children. Contact us today to learn more.
Protect Your Loved One’s Future
Special needs law is an important aspect of estate planning that should not be underestimated. The choices you make today could seriously impact your loved one’s ability to secure federal aid programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security. When planning for the future, it is important to ask the right questions. Elder Law of Nashville, P.L.C. are special needs lawyers who will take the time to understand your family, your unique needs, and your wishes. We can help you plan ahead so that your wishes are honored and your rights are protected. Call us today at 615-852-5602 to learn more.