Howard County Special Needs Planning Attorney
Caring for a child with a disability can often feel like being trapped in a maze. Today, parents have to navigate a complex labyrinth of laws governing public benefits eligibility, an expanding alphabet soup of government agencies and insurance companies, and the growing mountain of paperwork documenting their child’s disability. Special needs planning allows parents to navigate their way out of the maze and get their child the support they deserve while preserving their family’s legacy. The special needs planning practice of McDonald Law Firm encompasses the following strategies:
Third-Party Special Needs Trust — A third-party special needs trust is a way to transfer money and property to an individual with special needs without compromising that individual’s eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid or other means-tested government assistance.
Self-Settled Special Needs Trust — Along with making purchases of non-countable assets, a self-settled special needs trust is an excellent vehicle for maintaining financial resources while still qualifying for Medicaid or SSI. See our FAQs page for more information.
Pool Trust — A pool trust is a trust established and administered by a non-profit organization. A separate account is established for each beneficiary of the trust, but, for the purposes of investment and management of funds, the trust pools these accounts. A pool trust maintains eligibility for public benefits, including SSI and Medicaid, for people with disabilities who receive public benefits and subsequently receive an inheritance, divorce settlement, or personal injury settlement or award.
ABLE Accounts — These accounts were created by the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014 so that Americans with disabilities and their families could build savings. Contributions of post-taxed dollars can be made by anyone including the beneficiary, family, and friends. While the contributions are not tax deductible, withdrawals and investment income earned from ABLE accounts are not taxed. ABLE accounts provide an opportunity to build savings while remaining eligible for programs like SSI. ABLE accounts will not impact Medicaid eligibility, and the first $100,000 saved in an ABLE account is exempt from SSI income eligibility tests.
Parents Get Help Today with your Special Needs Planning from a Dedicated Maryland Estate Planning Attorney
For advice and assistance on the proper legal strategies in preparing a comprehensive special needs plan, call McDonald Law Firm at 443-741-1088. We offer a no obligation consultation, and we practice throughout Howard County and the surrounding counties.