Many people in Georgia are unable to care for themselves. Some have been disabled since their youth, others have been disabled by an accident or disease and still others are incapacitated by infirmities of old age, such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Despite a person's incapacity, that person may have legal or financial obligations. Managing these relationships can place a heavy burden on family members or friends, and Georgia has created two types of relationships that allow another person to care for or make decisions for a person who is unable to do so: guardianships and conservatorships.
Trusts are common legal arrangements that, in their simplest forms, allow money or property to be set aside for the welfare of a person. While trusts are most commonly associated with wealthy people transferring assets to their children, trusts can serve a variety of purposes that have little or nothing to do with transferring inherited wealth. One of the most useful trusts for people living in Georgia is the "special needs trust."
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is a federal statute that was passed in 1975 with the goal of ensuring that certain categories of impaired children were given necessary assistance with learning disabilities. While the goal of the act is laudable, the procedures that are necessary to qualify a child for benefits can be complex.
Elderly Georgia residents hear many confusing terms about planning for a disabling or terminal illness and the disposition of their property on death. One of the most confusing questions is the difference between a living will and a last will and testament. Understanding this distinction can be the difference between removing a significant source of stress from a person's later years and facing increasingly difficult questions about disposing of a person's assets in a manner that precludes divisive arguments between descendants about the division of an elder relative's assets.
Georgia residents approach special needs planning from the right place: they want to make sure that loved ones are taken care of. For many people, that loved one is a child, or perhaps a sibling. Whatever the case, even an approach to special needs planning that attempts to account for all types of contingencies might encounter unique problems.
Parents in Georgia who are attempting to make plans for their children who have special needs can run into a variety of obstacles, as there are multiple issues that may need to be addressed in said plans. However, regardless of the obstacles, these parents know that they must do right by their children and accomplish their goals.
Our society today is doing more than ever before to attempt to make sure that people with special needs are taken care of. From a government standpoint, disabled individuals may be able to receive Social Security Disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income. However, in some cases, those sources of income are not enough. Many people in Georgia who have family members who have physical or medical disabilities oftentimes want to look into the benefits of a special needs trust.
As the parent of a child with special needs, your long-term goals may need more careful, thoughtful planning. You have to think past your own lifetime and consider the wellbeing of your child even once you’re no longer around to provide.