Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo Logo

Updating Your Loved One’s Special Needs Plan

12/21/2022 | Special Needs Trust
Updating Your Loved One’s Special Needs Plan

Once you have a comprehensive special-needs plan in place, it can be a relief knowing that your disabled child, family member, or other loved one’s future is secure. However, it’s always good to review their terms periodically to make sure they make sense of your loved ones’ requirements. Here are some issues to consider when updating your loved one’s special needs plan:

Your Loved One’s Health

Having a significant disability can also mean having complex medical care needs. If these health conditions worsen, your loved one’s health needs could change. When creating the special needs plan, the goal may have been for your loved one to remain at home. The plan will need to be adapted to transition them into an environment that can support their medical needs if living at home is no longer feasible.

Your Loved One’s Living Situation

One of the most critical parts of a special needs care plan is where the individual will reside. If the idea at one time was for the person to remain with family members, this is an excellent time to check-in and ensure that these relatives are still in a position to provide care. For example, if your loved one’s brother intended to take care of him and has now developed a severe health condition, he may no longer be a suitable caregiver. If circumstances have changed, the family may need to re-group and determine the best long-term living situation.

Your Loved One’s California Special Needs Trust

Most plans include a California special needs trust. This essential legal device allows a disabled person to have funds available to pay for specific extra expenses that government benefits don’t cover. For instance, special needs trust disbursements can be made for things such as travel expenses, household furniture, clothing, computer equipment, and medical costs not covered by Medi-Cal. A special needs trust can be created with funds belonging to other people (third-party) or with funds belonging to the beneficiary (first-party). When the beneficiary dies, a third-party trust will pass according to the trust terms. A first-party trust is considered the individual’s property and may be subject to Medi-Cal estate recovery. If it has been some time since you have looked into the funding sources for your loved one’s special needs trust, now would be a good time for a review. You may discover that there are new ways to add to this vital resource.

Your Loved One’s Medi-Cal and SSI Benefits

If your loved one depends on Medi-Cal and SSI, it’s critical to review these programs and their eligibility requirements each year. There are complicated laws and rules connected to these crucial benefits. Staying current on plan changes is essential to making sure your loved one’s needs are met and that they can continue to maintain their program eligibility.

The best way to identify the necessary updates for your loved one’s special needs plan is to meet with an experienced California special needs planning attorney at the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo. We have attorneys with extensive experience assisting clients with special needs planning. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.