Proper estate planning involves more than just deciding on how to distribute your assets to your beneficiaries after your death. Actuarial reports indicate that during our working lives, we are more likely to incur an event of disability. Thus, estate planning includes planning and making arrangements in the event you have a future disability, or to ensure that a child or family member with special needs is taken care of. Estate planning and disability planning can be complicated, and you should not make any decisions about what tools to use without speaking with a knowledgeable DuPage County estate planning attorney at Momkus LLC.
At Momkus LLC, our team of estate planning attorneys has years of experience helping clients with all aspects of disability planning. We start with a complete analysis of your circumstances, and we help you plan for possible scenarios, such as future incapacitation, while ensuring that any loved one who has a disability is well-cared for. Our goal is to find the strategies which will prove to be the most beneficial to protect your interests. We will craft an individualized solution that helps meet your immediate needs and your long-term goals.
The Importance of Planning for Disability
While no one wants to think about becoming disabled, the fact is, the unexpected can happen. Many people will be faced with a temporary disability at least once in their lives. Long term disability is a real concern that could happen at any moment to anyone. Even if you practice healthy eating habits, exercise each day, and see the doctor regularly, you may be unable to avoid an injury that could have a long-term effect on your life. For example, you could suffer a slip and fall or some other type of accident that was beyond your control. Proper disability planning can ensure that your needs will be met if the unthinkable occurs.
Disability Planning Tools
There are special tools that you can use for disability planning, depending on your individual situation. Some of these include:
- OBRA Trusts: The OBRA (d)(4)(A) trust was created as part of the 1993 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. An OBRA trust may also be known as a Supplemental Special Needs Payback Trust, a Self-Settled Special Needs Trust or a First Party Special Needs Trust. Ordinarily, an individual who has a significant amount of non-exempt financial assets does not meet the eligibility requirements for Medicaid assistance. A properly established OBRA trust allows a disabled person to become eligible for Medicaid, as long as the trust is established before he reaches age 65. To set up an OBRA trust, the individual must be considered disabled according to the government’s Social Security standards.
- Power of Attorney: You will want to designate a trusted friend or loved one to have control over your healthcare and/or financial decisions in case you are not able to make decisions on your own. You can opt to designate a person who will have temporary or permanent control, depending on your individual needs.
- Special Needs Trusts: This allows someone with a disability to have access to the assets held in the trust without putting their eligibility for public assistance at risk.
- Living Trusts: These can help you manage assets while you are still alive and enable you to transfer them to your intended beneficiaries after your death.
- Guardianships: A guardianship can be used to legally gain custody of a minor, elderly person, or a disabled person. This may be the best method for someone to assume legal responsibility if no power of attorney agreement has been executed.
Contact a Naperville Disability Planning Attorney
If you need assistance with estate planning and/or disability planning contact Momkus LLC today at 630-434-0400 to schedule an initial consultation with one of our DuPage County estate planning lawyers.