Monday, November 18, 2013

You Are a Family Caregiver If...

  • You recently had a family member needing your support as a result of a mental illness, chronic illness or physical injury.
  • You have a special needs child.
  • You are spending more time helping your aging parent, relative or friend.
  • You are one of the 44 million American families and friends who provide unpaid care to another adult!
If you answered yes to one or more, you are not alone; you represent 80% of the long term care in the US!

If you are caring for an individual with special needs, you need to think about how that care will continue when you are no longer in the picture.  A Special Needs Trust allows the individual with special needs to receive income from the Trust without impacting their federal eligibility for income dependent benefits, like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medi-Cal. Assets held in this type of trust do not qualify as available income when calculating eligibility, as the funds are not considered to be within the recipient’s direct control. Set at just 2/3 of the poverty level, SSI alone is not enough to cover someone’s minimum needs. Without this type of trust, your loved one with special needs will likely face enormous hardships after your death, depleting funds from their inherited estate within just a few years. A Special Needs Trust allows them to draw on federal financial benefits in addition to drawing income from the estate.

Family Caregivers need support and tools to help them manage the complex task of assisting someone.  Be sure the loved one has at a minimum, a valid Power of Attorney and Advanced Health CareDirective.   

There are many resources for caregivers.  If your loved one is an elderly person wanting to continue independent living, help can be found with the Area 4 Agency onAging.  The Agency serves seniors in the Placer, Nevada, and Sacramento as well as Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties. 

You can also contact our office where we can create the documents necessary for your situation and provide you with resources for other support needs. The Law Office of Lynn A. Dean, website: www.LynnDeanLaw.com or phone: (916) 786-7515.

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