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Start a Special Needs Plan for Your Child in New York

Ohio grandparents of special needs boy helped by Cuddy Law Firm

When to Start Planning for the Future: Special Needs Planning

As a parent, you want the best for your child. At some point, this includes planning for their life when you’re no longer able to provide for them. There are many special needs planning options available for your family if you have a child with special needs.

You know you won’t be around to care for your child forever. And it’s never too early to start planning for your child’s life after yours. Make sure they get the best care possible by discussing special needs planning as soon as you can.

It is important to plan for your loved one’s future individual financial resources, available government benefits, medical care, and more.

At the Cuddy Law Firm, we realize how difficult it is to plan for your loved one’s welfare once you’re no longer around. The process may seem overwhelming, but it’s our job to help ensure your loved one gets access to government benefits and enjoys the best quality of life possible.

Whether you need help setting up a trust, preparing a will, or help with estate planning, our attorneys can help you and your family.

The Cuddy Law Firm helps families all over New York from our offices in Westchester County and Auburn (Cayuga County) in the Finger Lakes region. If you’re ready to plan for your loved one’s future, talk to the special needs planning lawyers at the Cuddy Law Firm.
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Creating a Special Needs Trust for Your Child

One of the key components of building a special needs plan for your child with disabilities is creating a special needs trust.

A special needs trust shields your child’s financial resources from counting against them when they need government benefits.

Key aid programs for people with disabilities are based on economic need, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits or Medicaid health care. Having too many countable assets can disqualify your child from these.

But resources in a trust aren’t counted.

Special needs trusts come in different types.

Some are funded by you upon your death. Others you can contribute to now, and so can loved ones who want to help support your child’s financial future.

Still another kind can be funded by assets in your child’s name, including legal settlements, stocks, and bonds. And another kind can be managed by a non-profit organization that you also want to support.

Each type works differently and has different long-term considerations.

An experienced special needs planning attorney can help you navigate what is best for your family.
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Special Needs Planning & Guardianship

When a child with special needs reaches adulthood but cannot take care of themselves independently, you’ll want to establish someone as their guardian to manage their personal business.

Like trusts, guardianships and other arrangements to support an adult with disabilities come in different forms:

  • Guardianships that detail certain areas of life that the guardian manages for the person with special needs
  • Guardianships for people with more severe disabilities, under which the guardian makes most decisions for the person
  • Supported Decision Making, under which people with disabilities who can understand and contribute to decisions about their lives get support from a team of people

You don’t have to sort out the options on your own. A special needs planning lawyer who knows the specifics of these plans, and others, can provide highly-informed advice.

And you can have the reassurance that you have done everything to create the best situation for your child.
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Estate Planning Essentials

Some basic tools of estate planning—items that apply to everyone—are also important to setting the groundwork for special needs planning for your child.

  • Advance Directives: These are documents, including living wills, which establish plans for what those around you should do if you are incapacitated.
  • Letter of Intent: This explains your wishes for arrangements after your passing.
  • Will: A formal outline of what will happen to your estate—and also who will be the guardians of your minor children—in the event of your death.

Thinking about these scenarios isn’t comfortable.

But knowing you have a strong plan in place for those you leave behind can be a great comfort.

The time is always now to start planning for a future that gives your loved one with special needs a lifetime of security and support.

The Cuddy Law Firm special needs estate planning attorneys are prepared to help.
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