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Two Estate Planning Tools That Offer Protection for Your Disabled Loved One

 Posted on August 10, 2016 in Estate Planning

Lombard estate planning attorneyMaking any kind of estate plan is an emotional task, especially when the arrangements you are creating impact the ones you love most. Estate planning can be particularly challenging when you have to consider a loved one with special needs, as the circumstances surrounding their health and finances may mean more time and attention spent on details on your part to ensure they are properly cared for.

If your loved one’s capacity for self-care is limited due to a mental or physical disability, you thankfully have resources and options available to you. Illinois law allows you to offer assistance to your disabled loved one and protect their best interests, beginning with two special estate planning tools: a guardianship and a special needs trust.

Obtaining Guardianship

By pursuing guardianship, you accomplish something very important: you establish some security for your disabled loved one by asking the court to grant you the legal authority to help look after them. Additionally, the appointed guardian can also help manage property, finances, and any other assets, lightening the burden for your family member with special needs.

Depending on your loved one’s specific needs, the court may grant guardianship to one person for one area of estate management, or separate guardians for different areas, such as one to manage the estate and another to help manage your loved one’s finances and health matters. However the arrangements pan out, you have the power to shape and create a lifestyle and asset management plan for your disabled family member that brings them security and the resources they need to thrive and be at peace.

Setting up a Special Needs Trust

Government programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security Disability benefits are often the glue that helps hold your disabled loved one’s financial and health needs together. These programs are based on their income and financial standing, however, which means should that financial standing change due to an inheritance or a shift in income, they may be at risk for losing certain benefits. This is the purpose of a special needs trust. You can set one up for your loved one that essentially protects these benefits and ensures that their eligibility to receive them remains unaffected.

Arranging guardianship and setting up a special needs trust involves a lot of planning, but by working with a professional DuPage County estate planning attorney, you can create solid estate plans that ensure your family member with special needs is properly cared for and protected in the event you are no longer able to care for them. Call A. Traub & Associates at 630-426-0196 (Lombard), 847-749-4182 (Arlington Heights), or 312-528-3290 (Chicago South Loop) today for a confidential consultation.



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