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Mechanicsburg Special Needs Planning Attorney

Mechanicsburg Special Needs Planning Attorney

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Ensuring the Well-being of Disabled Adults in South Central Pennsylvania

In South Central Pennsylvania, many adults face the challenge of caring for themselves due to special needs arising from developmental disabilities, accidents, or conditions like dementia. These individuals require ongoing financial and healthcare support, often relying on public assistance programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. However, balancing the desire to help these loved ones with preserving their access to essential benefits can be complex. This is where the expertise of a Mechanicsburg special needs planning attorney becomes invaluable. At Keystone Elder Law, P.C., we specialize in advising families on various legal strategies to safeguard the financial and legal needs of their special needs family members.

The Role of a Special Needs Trust

Maintaining eligibility for SSI and Medicaid, which are means-tested programs, is crucial for special needs adults. These programs impose income and asset thresholds that recipients must stay within. Consequently, a substantial gift or inheritance from a family member can jeopardize their eligibility. However, families still want to support and care for their loved ones. To reconcile these objectives, a special needs trust (SNT) is often the ideal solution. A special needs trust is designed to hold specific assets that can be utilized for the benefit of the special needs adult without impacting their income or asset limits.

There are two types of special needs trusts:

  1. First-Party SNT: This type of trust is funded with assets that previously belonged to the beneficiary, such as personal injury settlements or inheritances. It allows individuals to retain access to their rightful assets while preserving their eligibility for SSI and Medicaid.
  2. Third-Party SNT: A third-party special needs trust is funded with assets provided by someone else, typically a parent or family member who wishes to provide for their special needs relative. By establishing this trust, family members can ensure ongoing support for their loved ones without jeopardizing their eligibility for benefits.

Expenses Covered by a Special Needs Trust

Once a special needs trust is established, a trustee manages the funds to cover various expenses for the beneficiary, which may include:

  • Medical services not covered by Pennsylvania Medical Assistance or private insurance
  • Costs associated with non-medical care
  • Travel expenses
  • Educational needs
  • Entertainment and other supplemental costs

Consult Keystone Elder Law, P.C. for Expert Special Needs Planning

Addressing the legal and financial needs of a special needs individual requires a comprehensive understanding of the applicable laws and regulations. Additionally, considerations such as guardianship and estate planning may arise. Our experienced Mechanicsburg special needs planning attorney will work closely with you to review your loved one’s situation, offering personalized guidance and tailored solutions. Schedule an initial consultation with Keystone Elder Law, P.C. today and take the necessary steps to secure the well-being and future of your special needs family member.

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Comprehensive Interdisciplinary Approach

Empowering Clients with Holistic Planning at
Keystone Elder Law

At Keystone Elder Law, we believe that the physical, social, legal, and financial considerations of our clients all intertwine. We utilize an interdisciplinary approach to evaluate each area, which allows for the creation of a plan that addresses the concerns of the individual as a whole as well as the family. To this end, our model of practice includes a Care Coordinator (usually a nurse or social worker), whose expertise complements our team of attorneys.

When the road of life is smooth, decisions about legal and financial matters are easy to push aside for “a rainy day.” Planning ahead, however, will allow for more options as you view the map of where you’ve been and where you want to go. Don’t let a crisis limit your choices or derail your plans.

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