Protecting Your Disabled Child

A Supplemental Needs Trust, also known as a Special Needs Trust, is a document that is designed to provide a way for you to leave part of some of your estate to a disabled child and still preserve the public assistance benefits provided by any county, state, federal or governmental agency. (This is usually Social Security and Medicaid). You may leave properties such as cash, stocks, bonds, life insurance proceeds and real property to the trust.

An important consideration is identifying the proper individual or entity to manage the trust after your death. This is the Trustee.  This could be another family member, a close friend, or a trust company.  Being appointed and serving as a Trustee is a very serious undertaking. Every Trustee is held to a high standard of performance, considerably higher than the performance acceptable for an individual’s own affairs.  I recommend that the appointed trustee be part of the planning process so that the trustee duties are understood and accepted.

If you need advice on preparing such documents, call the Law Office of Debra G. Simms today at 386.256.4882

This blog post is not case-specific and is provided only for educational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Blog topics may or may not be updated and entries may be out-of-date at the time you view them.

 

 

Protect Yourself Against Elder Abuse!

Florida is home to many senior citizens.  Unfortunately, this makes Florida a magnet for criminals who take advantage of the elderly.

Many elder abuse scams take the form of offering estate planning or financial services to vulnerable elderly adults.  The scammers convince victims to pay them thousands of dollars for various types of estate planning services such as in-home personal care and companion services, and insurance policies to cover long-term care.

Earlier this year, the Florida Attorney General sued a Broward County couple who allegedly stole a quarter of a million dollars from senior citizens throughout the state of Florida by offering long-term care programs and services.  The bulk of the funds were diverted to the scammers for their personal use.  The Attorney General’s office is suing under “deceptive practices” laws.  The case remains pending.

Proper estate planning can help protect against such abuse by ensuring there is a designated agent available to manage a vulnerable adult’s personal and financial affairs.  A Durable Power of Attorney or Trust are excellent tools to manage such situations.

If you need advice on preparing such documents, call the Law Office of Debra G. Simms today at 386.256.4882

This blog post is not case-specific and is provided only for educational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Blog topics may or may not be updated and entries may be out-of-date at the time you view them.

 

Consider the following as you make your plans.

  • Consult with a Florida Bar Board Certified Elder Law Attorney. Many attorneys offer an initial free consultation for estate planning matters.
  • Those named in your Durable Power of Attorney should be aware of the document and have access to the document.
  • The person with dementia should name a successor (back-up) agent for the power of attorney in the event the agent may be unable to act. (Illness, resignation, death)
  • Once a power of attorney for health care document and a living will is in place, give copies to the person’s health care providers and agents.
  • Consider choosing an attorney or a corporate trustee (bank or broker) to manage the individual’s estate if the person lacks a trusted individual with time or expertise.
  • The person with dementia should discuss his or her wishes with the chosen agent to make sure the agent is comfortable carrying those wishes out.

Questions? The Law Office of Debra Simms is here to help. Call us today 386.256.4882

This blog post is not case-specific and is provided only for educational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Blog topics may or may not be updated and entries may be out-of-date at the time you view them.

Many legal forms (Power of Attorney, Living Will) can be completed without professional help.  However, if you have a complex situation or questions, it’s a good idea to seek legal advice and services from an attorney specializing in elder law.

Elder Law focuses on disability planning, guardianship, estate planning, and other legal issues that typically affect older adults.

If you have a family attorney, he or she may be able to refer you to an elder law attorney.  Other resources include:

When you meet with your lawyer be sure to talk to your lawyer about the following key issues as well as any other concerns you may have:

  • Options for health care and long-term care decision-making for the person living with dementia
  • Options for managing the individual’s personal care and property
  • Possible coverage of long-term care services, including what is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, veteran benefits and other long-term care insurance.

The laws vary from state to state; make sure you understand your local laws and have any out-of-state documents updated in your new state.

Questions? The Law Office of Debra Simms is here to help. Call us today 386.256.4882

This blog post is not case-specific and is provided only for educational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Blog topics may or may not be updated and entries may be out-of-date at the time you view them.

Contact Us

Port Orange Office:
Prestige Executive Center
823 Dunlawton Ave. Unit C
Port Orange, FL 32129
Local: 386.256.4882
Toll Free: 877.447.4667
New Smyrna Beach Office:
629 N. Dixie HWY
New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168
Local: 386.256.4882
Toll Free: 877.447.4667