Special Needs Planning
Estate planning for a family with children who have special needs comes with a complex set of financial, social and medical issues that some lawyers are ill-equipped to handle. The experienced special needs planning attorneys with The Mundheim Firm are dedicated to ensuring your child with special needs will be well taken care of when you are no longer able to serve as the primary caregiver.
As of May 1, 2018, Texas Achieving a Better Life Experience (Texas ABLE®), based on federal and state law, provides Texans experiencing the onset of a disability before the age of 26 (who also meet program eligibility requirements) or their fiduciaries, an opportunity to save up to $15,000 per year by placing those funds into an ABLE® account. When determining eligibility for federal benefits, funds up to $100,000 held in an ABLE® account are effectively ignored.
Funds may be withdrawn from an ABLE® account for qualified expenses, including:
- Personal support services
- Prevention and wellness
- Financial management and administrative services
- Oversight and monitoring
Such qualified withdrawals are not subject to federal income tax.
Special Needs Trusts
Another, more traditional option to handle the “Catch-22-like” situation of leaving enough money to pay for the massive amount of care and support these individuals typically need throughout their lifetimes without risking disqualifying him or her for government benefits like Medicaid and Supplemental Social Security Income is a “special needs trust.” This type of trust provides supplemental financial resources for the physically, mentally or developmentally disabled individual without affecting their eligibility for public health care and income assistance benefits.
The requirements for a child with special needs change dramatically over time, as do the laws governing public benefits.
Given this, it is vital to work with an experienced attorney who can create a comprehensive trust that is both properly structured and appropriate for your child’s specific situation.
Special Needs Planning And Trusts For Texas Children
Contact The Mundheim Firm if you need estate planning for your child with Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, or another developmental or cognitive disability. Our team of experienced Texas special needs planning lawyers can develop a sustainable living plan for your child with special needs that will provide them with the finances they need to live a full life while preserving their access to government benefits.