Special Needs Attorney
A special needs attorney is a legal professional with expertise in addressing the unique legal and financial needs of individuals with disabilities or special needs.
When planning for end-of-life, or after a death, special needs attorneys can help ensure that the rights and interests of people with special needs are protected and that appropriate plans are in place to secure their future well-being.
They specialize in creating legal structures and plans that protect the rights of these individuals, specifically within an Estate Plan, with respect to Guardianships, Conservatorships, and facilitating access to vital government benefits.
Special needs attorneys help during end-of-life planning in a variety of ways:
Estate Planning for Individuals with Special Needs: Assists families in creating estate plans that provide for the financial future and care of individuals with special needs, while considering their unique circumstances, government benefits, and quality of life.
Special Needs Trusts: Helps establish and administer special needs Trusts, a legal tool that allows individuals with disabilities to have assets set aside for their benefit without jeopardizing their eligibility for government benefits like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Guardianship and Conservatorship: Guides families or Surviving Family members through the legal processes of obtaining a Guardianship of the Estate and Conservatorship for financial matters, and/or a Guardianship of the Person, for personal and medical decision-making) for people with special needs, ensuring their rights and interests are protected.
Government Benefit Planning: Advises on accessing and maximizing government benefits, including Social Security Disability (SSD), Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, and other assistance programs, to support the individual's healthcare, housing, and other essential needs.
Advocacy and Legal Support: Advocates for the rights of individuals with special needs, providing legal representation in cases where their rights may be at risk or infringed upon, and helping families navigate legal challenges.
Educational Planning: Assists in securing appropriate educational services and accommodations, ensuring that individuals with special needs have access to an appropriate education that meets their unique requirements.