Special Needs Planning

Special Needs Planning

At Courtney Elder Law Associates, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive, effective plans for families with special needs children and adults. Our Founder, Richard Courtney, is himself the parent of an adult daughter born with cerebral palsy. We understand what you are going through on a personal level, and can help you navigate 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 Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid and other government benefits
  • Maximize the amount of public and private resources available to you and your loved one with disabilities
  • Help you address the planning needs of other members of your family

To accomplish these goals, we work closely with you to implement your top priorities and overall family objectives, as well as to analyze your current financial situation. This allows us to determine what benefits are available for your specific situation, and what legal strategies we can use to maximize these benefits both today and tomorrow for the proper care of your special needs child tomorrow. In addition, 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 health care plans. We will also review your plan periodically to take into account any changes in your financial, family or medical situation.

Special Needs Trusts

There are several types of special needs trusts intended to accomplish a variety of specific goals, but in general they seek to maintain a special needs person’s eligibility for assets-based government assistance programs. Special needs trusts can create the funds to supplement the services and/or care not provided by means-tested programs.

The concept behind special needs trusts is relatively simple. The proper design and implementation of them is not. This is because there are many different Medicaid and other public assistance programs available, and each has its own set of rules for eligibility. Furthermore, care requirements for a special needs child change over time, as do the financial resources of the child’s family. Laws governing eligibility and available benefits constantly change as well. For a well-drafted special needs trust and effective overall special needs plan, you should seek counsel only from attorneys with extensive experience in this area of the law. Contact Courtney Elder Law Associates to learn how we can help you, your family and your special needs loved one.

Inheritance and Litigation Settlement Planning

Some individuals with special needs have received inheritances or litigation settlements as compensation for injuries that led to their medical and/or emotional problems. Unfortunately, many special needs children and adults have lost their eligibility for government aid as a result of improper settlement planning. We can help preserve the eligibility of your special needs loved one for public assistance in situations where he or she is receiving funds from other sources, such as an inheritance or settlement. We can also evaluate and address the many interrelated issues that often accompany complicated cases involving special needs children and personal injury. These include: Special Needs Trusts, Medicare and Medicaid lien resolution, Medicare Set Aside (MSA) arrangements, court approval of proposed settlements, and the creation of Qualified Settlement Funds, among others. We welcome the opportunity to explain your options and find the ideal solution to your particular situation.

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