Ruder Ware's Elder Law Team Recognizes National Special Needs Law Month - Part 2

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My name is Attorney Jessica Merkel. As we shared earlier this month, October is Special Needs Law Month. Since this is part two of our two-part series, we wanted to recap that in our first part we shared with you some planning considerations for individuals with special needs. In the second part, we will be talking about the planning that parents and family members of individuals with special needs may want to consider.

It should come as no surprise that the parents of children with special needs are See more +

My name is Attorney Jessica Merkel. As we shared earlier this month, October is Special Needs Law Month. Since this is part two of our two-part series, we wanted to recap that in our first part we shared with you some planning considerations for individuals with special needs. In the second part, we will be talking about the planning that parents and family members of individuals with special needs may want to consider.

It should come as no surprise that the parents of children with special needs are so important and vital in their children's lives. This should not be overlooked or taken for granted while there may never be a true substitute for a parent's love, devotion, and care, planning can be done to help make sure that the life of a child with a special need is impacted as little as possible in the event that something were to happen to one of their parents. In our experience in working with special needs families we have found that parents often provide financial support to their children with special needs over the course of their entire lives.

That being said, this important fact should be recognized in the parents financial power of attorney documents so that the parent's financial support of their children can continue even if they are incapacitated and unable to make their own decisions. In addition, we have seen instances where parents believe that they have to disinherit their children with special needs so that their children don't lose their public benefits. The good news is that no parent of a special needs child should ever have to make that painful decision because a child with special needs can be treated exactly the same as any other child. It's just that the child with special needs should receive his or her inheritance in a special needs trust.

There are many legal requirements that go into special needs trusts in order to make sure that the assets within those trusts are not deemed to be assets belonging to the child with the special needs. As long as the legal requirements are followed, the child with the special needs can be a beneficiary of the special needs trust and continue to be eligible to receive means-tested government benefits. Another piece of good news is that there is no payback to the state of Wisconsin, if the special needs trust for the child is created by their parents.

Ruder Ware's elder law and special needs team want you to know that if you are a parent of a child with special needs and if you have any questions about special needs law or special needs planning, please feel free to contact us. We would be honored to help. See less -

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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