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Special Needs

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Special Needs

Estate planning for a child with a disability presents unique challenges.  You must address the same issues as every parent – establishing trusts, naming guardians, and dealing with tax issues – but you face additional concerns too.  You may be asking yourself:

  • Who will look after my child’s personal needs, make medical decisions, and look for opportunities that can help my child lead as complete and fulfilling a life as possible?
  • If I leave assets to my child, will my child be ineligible for government benefits he or she may be receiving?
  • How can I leave financial assets to care for my child?
  • Where will my child live for the rest of his or her life when I’m no longer there?

At Harrison & Held, LLP, our attorneys have helped many families navigate these challenges.  We work closely with our clients and a network of advisors to develop comprehensive, holistic estate and life-care planning that integrates traditional estate planning tools with the use of discretionary and special needs trusts, letters of intent and future-care planning.  We have the experience to counsel families through the labyrinth of federal and state government benefits and design plans that preserve eligibility.  Our attorneys have knowledge and expertise in trust and estate law, trust income tax issues and guardianships.  We collaborate with the family’s financial planner, insurance advisor, and introduce care-managers and professional trustees, when necessary, to ensure that the individual with a disability has a system of support and oversight beyond basic government benefits.  We also work with family law attorneys when parents of a child with special needs divorce.  Special planning is required for child support payments when the child attains age 18.

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