At the Michigan Law Center, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive, effective plans for families with special needs children. If you are struggling to raise a child with a physical or developmental disability, we understand what you are going through and can help you cope with the many financial, social and medical issues involved. We can help you find the assistance you need now, and show you how to ensure your special needs child will be well cared for after you are gone or are no longer able to serve as the primary caregiver. In addition, we can:
Alleviate your concerns about protecting your child’s eligibility for SSI and other government benefits
Find residential options and the means to finance them
Maximize the amount of public and private resources available to you
Help you address the planning needs of other members of your family
How do we help you accomplish these goals? We begin by working closely with you to understand your top priorities and overall family objectives, as well as analyzing your current financial situation. This allows us to determine what benefits are available in light of your specific situation, and what legal strategies we can use to maximize these benefits today and prepare for the future care of your special needs child tomorrow. Then, we will use our experience, knowledge of the law and close relationships with numerous private and public agencies, professionals and other service providers to secure your financial assistance and implement your plan. Finally, we can review your plan periodically to take into account any changes in your financial, family or medical situation.
The ultimate benefit for you and other family members of having a comprehensive special needs plan in place is the peace of mind that comes from knowing your special needs child will receive the best possible care for the rest of his or her life.
Special Needs Trusts
Some of the more powerful tools in the special needs planner’s toolbox are special needs trusts. There are many different types of special needs trusts, intended to accomplish a variety of specific goals, but in general they seek to maintain a special needs child’s eligibility for means tested government assistance programs, including Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Special needs trusts can also create a fund to supplement the services and/or care not provided by means tested programs.
While the concept behind special needs trusts is fairly simple, the proper design and implementation of them is anything but. Why? There are many different Medicaid and other public assistance programs available, and each has its own set of rules for eligibility. In addition, the care requirements for a special needs child change over time, as do the financial resources of the special needs child’s family. The laws governing eligibility and the benefits available constantly change as well. For a well-drafted special needs trust, and a truly effective overall special needs plan, you should seek counsel only from attorneys with extensive training and experience in this complex and important area of the law. A law firm, that is, such as the Michigan Law Center.