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Benefits of a Special Needs Planning Attorney

Posted by Aubrey Carew Sizer | Sep 20, 2021

Benefits Of A Special Needs Planning Attorney 

There are many special needs planning attorneys in the United States that can help disabled or special needs individuals. A special needs planning attorney is used for special circumstances where a person has a special need due to a disability or some other form of special need and needs assistance with estate planning. If you feel that this may be necessary for your family then the following are some benefits of working with an experienced estate planning attorney well versed in this area of planning. There is never a reason to lose control over life decisions to government programs. With a special needs planning attorney, you can create choices and protect your assets while taking care of yourself as well as your loved ones. Reach out to the compassionate special needs planning attorney at The Law Office of Aubrey Carew Sizer PLLC at (571) 403-2619 today to learn more. 

Understanding Special Needs Trusts 

A special needs trust is a separate fund that holds money for the benefit of a person with special medical, physical, or mental challenges. These funds are used to pay for living expenses such as food, clothing, and shelter. The assets that go into these trusts can come from an individual's own income, but it is even common to have the assets provided by friends, family members, or other sources. When a family has a loved one with special needs, there are very unique considerations regarding end-of-life financial planning that need to occur in order to ensure the financial and legal protection of these family members. Special needs trusts are one way to ensure that your wishes are carried out and that your loved one with special needs remains financially protected throughout their life. 

Special Needs Trusts and Government Programs 

Many special needs persons rely on government programs for additional financial benefits. A special needs trust allows special needs persons to receive additional funds from other sources while also staying eligible for Social Security benefits, Medicaid, or Veterans Affairs medical assistance. 

Special needs trusts help special needs individuals lead a more secure and prosperous life. They can be used in conjunction with government programs to provide the individual with care and support they need throughout their lives. When an individual lacks the ability to financially take care of themselves it is important that they have access to the financial resources a special need trust can provide. 

Special Needs Trusts and the Internal Revenue Service

The Internal Revenue Service special need trusts rules outline how much money one can keep without losing eligibility under government programs while allowing beneficiaries the ability to retain financial security. Additionally, there are special needs trusts that can be funded by a person with special needs themselves if they have the capacity to do so. 

If a special needs person has an income, it will usually go into the special need trust. All or a portion may be used for special expenses while living in their own home. However, it is important to note that the assets of the special needs trust can come from sources other than the beneficiary's own income. A special needs planning attorney may help you create and fund a special needs trust specifically for your own unique set of facts and circumstances. Consider visiting with the experienced estate planning attorneys at The Law Office of Aubrey Carew Sizer PLLC to learn more about all of your estate planning options for your loved one with special needs.

Creating an Irrevocable Special Needs Trust

An Irrevocable Special Needs Trust is typically created while both parents are still living and able to work with an experienced special needs attorney. This allows parents to transfer assets without losing government benefits for themselves or their children in the event of an unexpected or early death. Parents can choose to support special needs children even if they run out of assets through an irrevocable special needs trust. 

An irrevocable special needs trust is one that is created that cannot be changed or altered in any way. Special needs trusts are irrevocable and therefore cannot be revoked without jeopardizing the entire special needs fund. Because special needs assets are often large enough to disqualify a person or family from receiving government subsidies like Medicaid, special care must be taken when setting up these irrevocable trusts in order to ensure that they will not be considered an "instrument of fraud" or "undue influence." A special needs planning attorney can help disabled Americans and their families apply for special medical assistance while protecting a safety net through these types of irrevocable trusts. 

When To Establish a Special Needs Trust

A special needs planning attorney can help you make provisions during your lifetime for your loved one with special needs. If parents use a special needs trust while both are still living, they can name a successor trustee to make sure that special needs trust continues after their deaths. You should set up special needs trusts long before the special needs individual's disability care costs begin, or as soon as possible, which may provide greater flexibility than waiting until he or she is older and his or her needs become more expensive to care for. It is important to transfer any assets not needed immediately for daily expenses in order to ensure that they are safeguarded for his or her future. 

Consider Visiting With an Experienced Special Needs Planning Attorney Today 

If you are considering creating a special needs trust for your loved one, visiting with an experienced estate planning attorney can ensure that you understand all of your legal options. Estate planning can include not only wills and trusts but medical documents as well, which can ensure that all of your wishes are carried out for both yourself, as well as all of your family members. We look forward to helping you protect your family and to answer all of your questions. Contact our legal team to learn more about our compassionate special needs planning attorneys at The Law Office of Aubrey Carew Sizer PLLC at (571) 403-2619 and how you can protect your loved ones today.  

About the Author

Aubrey Carew Sizer

Aubrey Carew Sizer, Esquire, is the Principal Attorney of The Law Office of Aubrey Carew Sizer PLLC, a Northern Virginia law firm providing representation for Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning, Long-Term Care Planning, Guardianship and Conservatorship, Special Needs Planning for the Disabled, and Probate, Estate and Trust Administration.


The Law Office of Aubrey Carew Sizer PLLC provides customized and affordable estate planning (including wills, living trusts, powers of attorney, and advance medical directives); elder law services (including long-term care planning, special needs planning for the disabled, and guardianships and conservatorships); probate, estate and trust administration (including advising executors and administrators of estates about post-mortem planning and the local probate process in Virginia), as well as general aging and disability advice in Northern Virginia, including but not limited to Arlington, Alexandria, Ashburn, Bristow, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Gainesville, Fairfax, Falls Church, Haymarket, Herndon, Leesburg, Manassas, Manassas Park, Reston, Springfield, Sterling, and throughout Loudoun, Prince William, and Fairfax counties.