Special needs planning is a unique estate planning service provided by Desert Law Group. Anyone who has a child with special needs has no doubt wondered how their child will be cared for if the parents are unable to do so. That’s where special needs planning becomes important. A special needs plan can take many forms and may cover many different financial and care needs, depending on the condition and age of the child.
Our special needs planning services focus on Conservatorships and Special Needs Trusts to provide special needs children with both guardianship protections and financial oversight and assistance.
A conservatorship allows a parent or guardian to continue to take care and financial decisions on behalf of their adult child. They are also sometimes referred to as Adult Guardianships. Under a conservatorship, a conservator or guardian is appointed by a judge to make legal, financial, and healthcare decisions on behalf of their special needs child.
Conservatorships are important for parents of special needs children because the law will often recognize the child as a fully capable adult once they turn 18, even if the child isn’t capable of taking care of themselves. A conservatorship ensures the parents or a named guardian are legally able to make decisions for the adult special needs child.
Conservatorships can be created at any time, even after the child turns 18. The process is long and complicated, requiring court appearances, and plenty of paperwork, but it is the best way to avoid confrontations with care providers and institutions who may question your authority to make decisions on behalf of your adult child.
A special needs trusts allows you to pass money to the special needs child upon your death without affecting the child’s ability to qualify for government assistance or benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. The funds are held in trust and administered by a third-party for the child’s care and expenses. Special needs trusts are a very specialized form of trust that require the help of an estate planning attorney to ensure they will function as you intend.
Special needs planning is an essential component of any estate plan for parents of children with special needs. It is the single best way to ensure your child will receive the oversight, care, and financial support they will need after you have passed.
Contact Desert Law Group at 760-776-9977 or use the form below to discuss your situation and learn more about special needs planning.