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Finances And The Future

Cherry Hill Special Needs Trust Attorney

Special Needs Financial Planning Lawyer

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If your family is caring for a child with disabilities, you may not be aware of options that would allow you to use funds from your child’s inheritance or personal injury settlement/award to help your family provide care and enhance quality of life for your child now, while maintaining his or her eligibility for Medicaid at a later date.

At our southern New Jersey firm, the Rice & Quattrone, PC, we offer a special needs trust especially designed for families caring for children with disabilities. Our “convertible special needs trust” avoids the problem created by the typical d4A Supplemental Needs Trust commonly used to shelter a disabled person’s funds:

If a child’s funds are placed in a d4A trust while the parents are still able to provide care in their home and under their health insurance plan, the care-giving parents are not able to use the money to enrich the child’s life or relieve the family’s stress. At the time of the disabled person’s death, any remaining funds are used to repay Medicaid benefits.

The convertible special needs trust designed by elder law attorney Nancy M. Rice allows the parents or other caregivers to freely access the funds on behalf of the disabled child. Then, when the child becomes eligible for Medicaid due to his or her need for skilled nursing care or by turning 18, remaining funds are smoothly transferred to a special needs trust that allows the owner lifetime access.

If you or your child has suffered serious, disabling injuries, it is important to prepare for any award or settlement before the money is received. If a person who is legally incapacitated receives an inheritance or personal injury award larger than $5000 and there is no trust prepared to receive the funds, they are automatically deposited with the county surrogate. It is very difficult for the family to then use the funds on behalf of the child. We are happy to work with personal injury attorneys in this area.

As the caregiver for someone with special needs, in addition to special needs financial planning, planning to minimize taxation and a special needs trust, you also need to plan for the time when the child becomes a legal adult or an adult becomes legally incompetent by preparing a durable power of attorney or guardianship. If you or someone you care about is facing probate or estate planning issues, an elder law attorney at our firm will take the time to get to know you before crafting a plan to meet your unique needs. Contact our southern New Jersey elder law offices in Ocean City, Cherry Hill or Linwood.