Special Needs Planning

Special needs planning involves helping families make proper arrangements for a child or other relative who has a disability. We work with families to ensure their estate planning documents provide for the particular needs and circumstances of their loved one with a disability. This may involve creating a special needs trust (sometimes called supplemental needs trusts) for a child or other relative to ensure that the child remains eligible for certain public benefits upon the death of a parent. We advise families regarding the public benefits available for persons with disabilities such as the North Carolina Community Alternatives Program (CAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), Medicare and Medicaid. We also advise families on court-approved guardianship matters and alternatives to guardianship.

In addition, when a person with a disability receives an inheritance outright or a settlement or jury award in a personal injury lawsuit, care must be taken to ensure that person remains eligible for certain means-tested public benefits. We advise families on their options which may include certain types of special needs trusts or other alternatives to ensure public benefits are not reduced or eliminated. Larry Rocamora is a member of the Special Needs Alliance, a nationwide network of special needs attorneys.