Individuals with mental health problems regularly face legal battles in which they must fight to maintain government benefits, housing, secure an adequate income, etc. In some instances, individuals with mental health problems are taken advantage of due to a lack of or diminished capacity. At Miller, Turetsky, Rule & McLennan we assist mental health consumers with issues involving the above matters along with many others. If you or a loved one suffer from mental health problems and feel as though you may need legal advice please do not hesitate to contact us.

Special Needs Planning is an area of law which is centered on the legal needs of families that have loved ones with disabilities. At Miller, Turetsky, Rule & McLennan, we plan the future and security of your loved ones with disabilities by providing services that fully encompass the current and future financial needs of said individual(s). In most instances, public benefits do not provide for all of a person’s needs to be met, therefore other financial resources must be put in place in order to ensure your loved one(s) needs are being met by utilizing tools that enhance quality of life, all while not affecting eligibility for public benefits such as Medicaid and Veterans benefits. If you have a loved one with special needs, please contact us for a consultation. We would love to help your family plan for the future.

Understanding Your Options

Planning for the Future

If your child has special needs, a standard estate plan — will, trust, power of attorney, and health care proxy — may not be adequate for your family. If your child will not be able to support herself or live independently as an adult, you need to make special provision for her in your estate plan. Here are three must-have documents:

Special Needs Trust. Instead of leaving your estate directly to a disabled child, the funds should be left in a specially-drafted trust for the child’s benefit. This will ensure that the funds are properly managed for the child’s lifetime. And provided that the trust is properly administered, the trust funds will not be countable, which helps to preserve your child’s eligibility for public benefits such as SSI and Medicaid.

Guardianship Nomination. Your will should include a guardianship nomination for all of your minor children. But when your child turns 18, she is considered to be an adult by law, even if her disabilities are very severe. Taking the time to select a guardian for your disabled child reduces stress and uncertainty for other family members after your death: the person you nominate as guardian will typically be given preference by the court.

Letter of Intent.This is a non-binding document that captures vital information about your child for future caregivers and trustees. It can include information about your child’s routines, preferences, medical history, allergies, and so on. As parents, you have gathered a lifetime’s worth of information about your child, information that will be invaluable to your child’s future caregivers. You can ask your attorney to keep a copy of the Letter of Intent with your other estate planning documents.