Estate Planning For Families With Special Needs Children And All Families
At Becker Law & Advocacy PLLC, we offer a full array of estate planning solutions, guidance in estate administration, and advocacy for families with members who have special needs. As many parents of children with a disability realize, these legal issues often overlap. For example, parents need to understand how provisions of their estate plans such as trusts may someday impact their children’s ongoing eligibility for essential government benefits.
As we are aware of these concerns, we are pleased to offer practical solutions together with education on the law. Our law practice also extends to people who may not have such concerns but appreciate a truly individualized approach to estate planning and probate administration. Our goal is to provide peace of mind to families of children with disabilities and all our clients.
Estate Planning Fundamentals
An estate is the total net worth of an individual at death, which includes all of their personal assets, such as real estate, intellectual property, business equity, stocks bonds, and bank accounts. Until an estate is closed, it can continue to grow after a person’s death.
An estate plan can protect you, your loved ones and your assets during your lifetime and in the future. A will, which is fundamental to most estate plans, is a public legal document by which you can direct how your assets will be distributed upon death. A personal representative (also known as an executor) will be appointed to pay final expenses and taxes and then distribute your assets. If you have minor children, you can designate a guardian for them in your will.
To be effective, a will must be filed in probate court after your death. As a will does not take effect until you die, it cannot provide for management of your assets if you become incapacitated. That’s why it is important to have other estate planning documents, such as powers of attorney, that address contingencies such as serious illness or incapacity.
We can help you select and formalize applicable estate planning tools, including:
- A will
- One or more trusts
- Powers of attorney
- A living will
- A health care directive that states your health care preferences and designates someone to act as your health care proxy.
Just as you watch out for the health and welfare of your child with special needs, your chosen representatives named in powers of attorney can make financial and health care decisions for you if necessary.
Reassurance Through Probate And Estate Administration
People generally understand the basic premises of inheritances. However, when it comes time to wrap up a loved one’s estate, it is easy to get bogged down in the details. At Becker Law & Advocacy PLLC, we guide people who are responsible for settling their friends’ or loved ones’ estates. You can turn to us with confidence for help settling an estate accurately and efficiently.
If you are the executor or personal representative for a friend or an elder in your family and you simultaneously care for a child with disabilities, the many details that you must tend to can easily overwhelm you. A knowledgeable probate lawyer on your side can smooth the way. Attorney Amanda L. Becker, our founder, and our entire team are committed to lifting your load while helping you fulfill your fiduciary duty and avoid any legal challenges that might arise.
Advocacy For Families Of Children With Disabilities
Your child or loved one may be entitled to government benefits that can be used throughout their lives, such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and services that the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) has to offer. Our legal team can help ensure that you do not miss out on any available help.
Attorney Becker can also help you set up guardianships and advocate for you and other families with loved ones who have disabilities. We can also assist you in preparing the necessary documents to obtain government benefits such as Medicaid, SSI and services through the OPWDD.