Oklahoma City Special Needs Planning Lawyer
Parents of special needs children in Oklahoma City are truly an inspirational set of people. It’s difficult to find a group of more selfless people. The care and self-sacrifice they give to their children is a great lesson for us all. Concern for their children is a significant part of their lives as well. That concern also extends beyond the day-to-day and far into the future. Many of these parents realize that they aren’t going to outlive their children, and a time will come when they won’t be able to provide the care that they wish for their special needs child.
There is, though, a pathway to some sense of peace and comfort for these parents. Estate planning is essential for people who want to express their wishes about how certain affairs will be handled after they are gone. This is especially true for cases where special needs individuals are involved. At Stange Law Firm, our team has experience handling these kinds of situations and addressing the concerns of Oklahoma City parents of special needs children. We can help you develop a special needs plan that you’re comfortable with.
Types of Issues That Special Needs Planning Can Address
Generally, the purpose of estate planning is to protect the wishes and desires of the deceased regarding assets, but it’s not just limited to that. Estate planning is also an important tool for setting up care for those whom the deceased are responsible for, whether they be children or those with special needs. For those parents with special needs children, estate planning is essential to making sure that you are comfortable with what will happen to your child when you are gone. You already know all the care and concerns that go into raising a special needs child, and it’s critical that your plan reflects those things. This is why it can be valuable to work with a knowledgeable, experienced estate planning team that can recognize all that should be part of your plan.
At Stange Law Firm, we’ve worked on all manner of estate plans, and our experience can be an asset for you in considering what you need for your child. We can customize a plan that addresses the issues that apply to your circumstances, as every special needs situation is unique and has its own particular concerns. Some of the most common issues that estate plans address include:
- Guardianship or Conservatorship – Depending on the age and relative independence of your special needs child, it may be appropriate to have someone who will act in your stead, watching out for their interests and ensuring that they get the care that they need. If this is your situation, then you will definitely want to make sure that your plan accounts for some kind of guardianship or conservatorship for your child.
- Financial Plans – One of the biggest concerns that parents of special needs children often have is making sure that there will be enough money to get their children the care that they need. In particular, many of these individuals rely on some of the various government assistance programs that are designed to help them. These programs, though, are means-tested. This means that something like the financial windfall that comes with a potential inheritance could cause them to become ineligible, despite the inheritance not being enough to provide for their care. Fortunately, it is possible to set up a special needs trust that can protect both the inheritance and the benefits of those government assistance programs.
- Medical – Whether it be through Medicaid and government programs, private insurance, or another option, a comprehensive special needs plan should include a plan on how medical care will be handled.
- Education and Career – For some special needs situations, education or employment are not an option. For those where these things are possible to some extent, your plan should address these issues in some way.
What a Special Needs Trust Can Do
Special needs trusts are an essential part of the plan for those looking to pass on an inheritance while still preserving their child’s eligibility for means-tested government assistance programs. The way the trust works is that assets are placed into the trust. These assets are shielded from means-testing. While you are alive, you are still able to control and use these assets. When you pass on, whoever you have named as a trustee will take control of the assets and ensure that they are handled according to your wishes.
The trust can be funded with nearly anything of value, including cash, investments, insurance payouts, and real estate. It’s critical, though, that the trust be legally structured in the right way. In the case of special needs trusts, there are some additional structuring elements that are essential to get right. Working with a skilled estate planning lawyer is vital to getting your trust set up correctly.
We Can Help You Find Peace Regarding What Will Happen When You’re Gone
What the future holds can be a tremendous worry for parents of special needs children. They recognize that they aren’t going to be around to care for their children forever. That reality becomes very difficult to wrestle with when they consider all their current responsibilities with regard to their children. There are concerns about everything from who will be caring for them to the finances that will support them. Every special needs circumstance is unique. Parents need a response that is tailored to their situation and designed to address their particular concerns.
At Stange Law Firm, we have a lot of experience with estate planning in all kinds of circumstances, including special needs planning. We understand the unique concerns that come with these situations. We can help customize a special needs plan designed to address all the specifics of your situation and the challenges that you are facing. Our goal is for you to have a plan that makes you feel comfortable that your child’s future is protected. Contact us today for help with planning for the future of your special needs child.
Oklahoma County (Oklahoma City), Oklahoma Office (405-594-0633) | 2601 Northwest Expy, Suite 411 W, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73112