For the most part, the law is relatively standardized across state lines. However most attorneys are only licensed to practice law in one specific state. What this means, for example, is even though an attorney may practice in Bloomington, MN or Minneapolis, MN, that same attorney may be unable to provide legal services or advice to a person in Wisconsin, a mere 15 miles away. The exception to the rule is any licensed attorney is able to represent in the federal court system. This can be crucially important to those individuals that are at much higher risk to lose their individual rights, such as special needs individuals, developmentally disabled individuals, or those who have suffered a personal injury..
Developmentally disabled and special needs adults often are ignored or are not given the same basic treatment that non-developmentally disabled people are given. For young children it can be worse. In fact, the general public frequently has viewed disabled and special needs individuals as bizarre and less than human. Parents can be a beneficial buffer between the outside world and their children. Eventually though, that buffer will one day be gone.
In order to ensure that your special needs relative is properly taken care of, an attorney specializing in drafting supplemental needs trusts and special needs trusts needs to be consulted. The purpose of a supplemental needs trust is to not jeopardize any government benefits for which a special needs individual is eligible, such as medical assistance and supplemental security income, while still providing other additional benefits to the special needs individual. This type of trust may be given a different name depending upon each state.
A special needs trust is a little different. Special needs trusts are designed with inheritance or proceeds from a personal injury case in mind. When the parents, relative, or primary caregiver passes away, the trust will help protect the beneficiary's individual medical assistance benefits and supplemental security income benefits and still allow an inheritance or settlement to be received.
Many of these same attorneys will help plan the estate of parents and individuals as well. All of these wills, trusts, and estate planning are designed to ensure the disposition of any money and property are received by the listed beneficiary instead of being liquidated and sent to the state. The most important function of a will and estate planning though, is the selection of a proper guardian for younger children should the unthinkable occur and the parents die prematurely.
For more information and guidance about supplemental needs trusts and special needs trusts, visit http://www.specialplanning.net. Special Planning, LLC. specializes in estate planning, wills, trusts, probate, and many types of insurance including long term care, disability, and health insurance.
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